Earlier in the SEC Tournament, the LSU Tigers fell to Arkansas 4-1. In the rematch between two of the top seeded teams in the tournament, the game was a different story as the Tigers defeated Arkansas 3-1.
Arkansas took an early lead in the bottom of the third with an unearned run, however LSU answered in the sixth and seventh innings scoring three runs to take a lead that would remain for the rest of the game.
“We get to stick around for another day. We’re happy about that. The key to our game today was our pitching, which was absolutely phenomenal. To give a team like Arkansas one hit through nine innings was amazing. I thought Hunter Newman was key to the game because he got us off to a good start. He threw the ball well. Unfortunately, we had to take him out in the fifth. Our guys coming out of the bullpen were fantastic, beginning with Will. It was a great pitching performance by our team. We pitch, play defense and scratch a couple across. That’s what we did today,” said LSU head coach Paul Mainieri.
Offensively, the Tigers were led by third baseman Christian Ibarra who was 3-for-4 on the day with two of the Tigers RBI. Tyler Moore accounted for the other RBI and Jared Foster also had a strong day at the plate finishing 2-for-3 with a run.
Five LSU pitchers combined to one-hit the Razorbacks with Will LaMarche picking up the win on the mound. LaMarche’s final line was 2.0 innings pitched, one hit, zero runs, zero walks and one strikeout on 23 pitches.
“You can’t win with one hit, especially against a team like that. They gave us some chances early but we didn’t get hits or score runs when we could have, and that was the biggest regret for the hitters,” said Arkansas’s Jake Wise.
While the Razorbacks are now eliminated from the tournament, the Tigers advance to play top-seeded Vanderbilt in the championship game on Saturday.
“As soon as we got the last out, I started looking at it again. I think we’re going to be okay for tomorrow. We’ve got a handful of guys that are rested and ready to go. I don’t doubt that Chris Cotton will be available. The great thing about him is that not only does he get the job done, he gets it done fast. I don’t think we’ll have trouble tomorrow. We just need to pitch well,” said LSU head coach Paul Mainieri.
Vanderbilt and LSU are the top-ranked teams in both the SEC and in the country and the championship game will be the first meeting of the year between the two teams.