LSU takes series against Hawgs

Right-hander Jared Bradford earned his 10th win of the season Sunday and centerfielder Jared Mitchell made a spectacular catch to prevent a game-tying home run in the ninth inning as LSU defeated third-ranked Arkansas, 5-3, before 9,203 fans at Baum Stadium.

Sunday's win gave LSU (28-21-1 overall, 11-12-1 SEC) a 2-1 series victory over Arkansas (36-14, 16-8), as the Tigers also captured Game 1 on Friday night by a 6-5 count. Arkansas posted a 5-0 win in Game 2 on Saturday.

The series win marked LSU's third on the road this season. The Tigers also have series victories at Alabama and Mississippi State.

LSU returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday when the Tigers play host to Florida in Alex Box Stadium. Arkansas travels to Alabama on Friday.

"This was another tremendous effort by our team," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "I'm so proud of these kids for coming into a tough environment and winning a series against one of the best teams in the country. There were so many outstanding contributions to today's win. Everyone played a role in allowing us the get the victory, beginning with another courageous effort from Jared Bradford."

Bradford (10-2) exited the game after the fifth inning with a pitch count of 85. He threw 39 pitches on Friday night to record a relief win over Arkansas. Bradford limited the Razorbacks to two runs on six hits Sunday with no walks and two strikeouts.

Bradford now has either a win (7) or a save (3) in 10 of LSU's 11 SEC victories this season.

LSU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning Sunday when Chris Jackson singled, stole second base, moved to third on Michael Hollander's groundout and scored on Blake Dean's single.

Arkansas tied the game in the bottom of the frame against Bradford, who started the game after securing a relief win on Friday night. Jake Dugger led off the first with a single and later scored on Jeff Nutt's RBI grounder.

The Tigers regained the lead with a run in the second against Arkansas starter Duke Welker. Sean Ochinko singled, moved to second on a throwing error by shortstop Matt Willard and scored on Ryan Schimpf's single to give LSU a 2-1 advantage.

Arkansas tied the game again in the third when Logan Forsythe singled and scored on Nutt's two-out double into left-centerfield.

Blake Dean led off the fourth with a home run – his seventh of the year – to give LSU a 3-2 lead. The Tigers maintained the one-run edge into the seventh inning when they added a pair of runs.

Catcher Robert Lara ripped a two-out, two-run double down the left-field line to extend the Tigers' lead to 5-2.

Freshman left-hander Shane Ardoin did a marvelous job in relief of Bradford, holding Arkansas scoreless through three innings. However, the Razorbacks mounted a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning as first baseman Danny Hamblin led off with the 17th homer of the year, cutting the deficit to 5-3.

Mainieri replaced Ardoin with right-hander Paul Bertuccini, who struck out Brian Walker before Matt Willard singled. Bertuccini retired Dugger on a pop-up to shortstop before facing pinch hitter Jacob Julius, who had five homers on the year.

Julius lifted a fly ball deep into right-centerfield where Mitchell leaped and caught it at the top of the wall to end the game.

Bertuccini was credited with his fourth save this season, as he allowed one hit with one strikeout. Ardoin was charged with one run on two hits in three innings with three walks and three strikeouts.

Welker (5-3) suffered the loss as he surrendered five runs – four earned – on eight hits in seven innings with one walk and five strikeouts.

LSU 5, Arkansas 3 (May 06, 2007 at Fayetteville, Ark.)

LSU.................... 110 100 200  -  5  8  1      (28-21-1, 11-12-1 SEC)
Arkansas............ 101 000 001  -  3  9  3      (36-14, 16-8 SEC)

Pitchers: LSU - Jared Bradford; Shane Ardoin(6); Paul Bertuccini(9).
Arkansas - Duke Welker; Dallas Keuchel(8); Evan Cox(9).
Win-Jared Bradford(10-2)  Save-Paul Bertuccini(4)  Loss-Duke Welker(5-3)  T-3:06  A-9438
HR LSU - Blake Dean (7).
HR AR - Danny Hamblin (17).
Ardoin faced 1 batter in the 9th.

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