Woes continue as Tigers falls to Hogs

Arkansas jumped on LSU for eight runs in the first two innings and capitalized on four Tiger errors to capture game one of a three-game Southeastern Conference series, 11-8, Friday night at Alex Box Stadium.

The Razorbacks (21-11, 6-4 SEC) moved into a second-place tie with LSU (24-7, 6-4 SEC) in the SEC Western Division. First-place Ole Miss extended its league-leading record to 8-2 with a convincing 6-1 victory over Auburn on Friday. Both teams trail the Rebels by two games.

The Tigers (No. 2 Collegiate Baseball, No. 3 Baseball America and ESPN/Sports Weekly) dropped their second straight contest and third consecutive Friday night game. LSU fell to Tulane 1-0 on Tuesday night.

The series resumes Saturday at 2 p.m. when freshman southpaw Clay Dirks (6-0, 1.90) will look to capture his SEC-leading seventh win of the season against sophomore righty Charley Boyce (4-1, 3.07).

The three-game set concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. Both games will be televised live with Fox Sports South/Southwest broadcasting Saturday's contest and Cox Sports televising Sunday's finale.

Both teams took advantage of each team's defensive miscues in the first inning. The Razorbacks scored four unearned runs after Blake Gill's fielding error. Haas Pratt and Brady Toops delivered back-to-back RBI singles, and Casey Rowlett's two-out double that sparked Arkansas to a 4-0 lead.

LSU countered with three unearned runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. After Clint Brannon retired J.C. Holt and Ryan Patterson for the first two outs of the inning, Matt Liuzza doubled and Nick Stavinoha dropped an RBI single over the head of shortstop Scott Hode.

The Tigers prolonged the inning when Hode bobbled Clay Harris' grounder and fired the ball into right field, scoring Stavinoha. Will Harris' two-out double cut the deficit to 4-3.

Liuzza finished the game with a career-high four hits, going 4-for-5, while Stavinoha went 2-for-4 with two RBI.

The Hogs plated four more runs in the second, chasing Justin Meier (4-2) who went 1.1 innings, allowing seven runs (three earned) on six hits in the shortest starting outing of his career. Six Razorback hitters finished the night with double-digit hits.

"If he can't pitch and win for us, we are in trouble," said LSU head coach Smoke Laval. "He has got to overcome it, regroup and pitch and win for us."

The top three of the Razorback order collected hits in the second, highlighted by Danny Hamblin's RBI single. After Clay Goodwin singled, Hode greeted Jordan Faircloth with an RBI double.

Trailing 9-3 in the third, the Tigers plated four runs on two, two-run homers to close within two runs. Jon Zeringue deposited Matt Stallings' 1-2 offering over the left field bleachers for his ninth homer of the year. Two batters later, Gill smashed his first homer of the year, a solo shot over the right field wall to cut the lead to 9-7.

Arkansas earned a run back on Pratt's solo shot in the fourth, and then added another critical run in the top of the ninth on Rowlett's leadoff homer.

LSU mounted a comeback in the ninth when Patterson and Liuzza singled to lead off the frame, but the Tigers hopes were dashed when Stavinoha, Clay Harris and Zeringue each flied out to right field to end the contest.

Jay Sawatski (4-2) registered his fourth win of the season in 6.1 innings of relief. Sawatski allowed six hits and only one run, -- Stavinoha's sacrifice fly -- while striking out three.

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