LSU clinches spot in championship game

The Tigers mercy ruled Arkansas, 11-1, and will now vie for their fifth SEC Tournament title in the last seven seasons.

LSU clinched its spot in the SEC Tournament Championship Game with its second mercy rule victory of the week, dropping Arkansas 11-1 in eight innings Saturday.

The Tigers reach the tournament's final round for the second consecutive time, and they'll have a shot at winning their fifth title in the last seven seasons. LSU has now outscored its opponents 29-4 in Hoover, Ala.

The Tigers continued their hot streak at the plate, collecting 16 hits with three home runs. Since that 27-0 drubbing of Northwestern State on May 12, LSU has 104 hits, 85 runs and a team batting average of .388.

LSU got another quality start from Kyle Bouman, who's reemerged as a reliable option in the postseason. He carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, and limited the Razorbacks to just one run on two hits in six innings of work.

Conner Hale got it all started Saturday with a solo home run in the second inning. Tyler Moore tripled that lead with a two-run shot to right field in the fourth, his second homer of the tournament. Moore would later drive in one more run to give him 19 RBI in the last seven games.

The Tigers really blew it open in the fifth with a five-run inning.

Mark Laird opened the frame with a single, and Fraley bunted his way aboard two at-bats later. Sean McMullen delivered a run with a single through the right side, and a misplayed bunt from Andrew Stevenson scored Fraley.

Kade Scivicque's double to left-center field tacked on two more runs, and Moore's single to right made it 8-0 after five innings.

Meanwhile, Bouman held the Razorback offense in check, allowing only one base runner through five innings. Arkansas got its first hit of the game to open the sixth, then a walk and base hit loaded the bases with nobody out.

Bouman struck out the next batter and induced a shallow pop fly to right field for the second out of the inning. But Arkansas finally got on the board as Eric Fisher walked in a 10-pitch at-bat to bring in the run.

But that was it for the Razorbacks, as Bouman escaped that inning with minimal damage. Parker Bugg and Henri Faucheux took it from there and held Arkansas scoreless the rest of the way.

Kade Scivicque delivered the Tigers' third home run of the game with a solo shot in the seventh, then LSU ended it in the eighth.

Alex Bregman walked to lead off the inning, and Cade Stone singled two at-bats later. Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch, and Chris Sciambra's single through the right side plated a run. Chris Chinea's sacrifice fly to left field in the next at-bat gave LSU the 10-run lead and the run-rule victory.

The Tigers now await the winner of Saturday's other semifinal between Florida and Kentucky. The championship game will be Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

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