BATON ROUGE, La. A year ago, Arkansas swept LSU with a pair of walk-off wins coming in the second and third games of the series at Baum Stadium, but this season the Tigers responded by doing the same to the Razorbacks at Alex Box Stadium.
For the second day in a row, No. 15 LSU defeated third-ranked Arkansas in walk-off fashion as the Tigers won 3-2 in 11 innings on Sunday to earn the sweep in the weekend series.
Nolan Sanburn got the start on the mound for the Razorbacks and had some struggles early. He gave up two runs in his three innings pitched before reliever Brandon Moore took over.
Moore pitched a perfect four innings against LSU prior to second baseman Jacoby Jones lining a single off of Moore’s forearm into right field to begin the eighth inning. The injury to the sophomore right-hander’s throwing arm forced him to leave the game. Colby Suggs entered the game and retired two batters before turning it over to closer Barrett Astin.
Astin gave up just his third run of the season in three innings pitched, but his last two runs allowed served as back-to-back game winners for LSU.
LSU left fielder Raph Rhymes began the 11th inning with a single. The hit was his second of the game and gave him his 18th multi-hit game of the season. Rhymes was later caught stealing, but LSU managed to load the bases with two outs to send center fielder Jared Foster to the plate.
Foster hit a roller toward third that Matt Reynolds scooped up, but couldn’t make the transition from his glove to his throwing hand, which allowed catcher Ty Ross to score. Reynolds failed to make this transition twice in the inning, but both were ruled infield hits. The RBI infield single for Foster gave LSU (22-6, 6-3 SEC) the win and the sweep to tie Auburn for first place in the SEC West standings.
The Tigers took the initial lead in all three games. In the series finale, Raph Rhymes hit a RBI single in the bottom of the first, but as was the case the entire weekend, Arkansas responded to the initial lead quickly. Right Fielder Derrick Bleeker hit a home run in the top of the second to tie the game. The home run was the first for the Razorbacks since the March 13 match-up with Gonzaga.
A RBI double from shortstop Austin Nola gave LSU the lead again in the third, but Arkansas first baseman Dominic Ficociello tied the game up in the seventh with another solo shot. The game remained deadlocked 2-2 until the final play in the 11th inning.
Not only was this the first series that Arkansas (22-6, 5-4 SEC) lost this season, but it was the first time the Razorbacks were swept. With the loss, Arkansas is tied for third in the division with Ole Miss.
Arkansas will return to Fayetteville on Friday to host the No. 25 Georgia Bulldogs for a three-game series. The first game is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Saturday’s game is set for a 2:35 p.m. start time and first pitch in the finale on Easter Sunday is scheduled for 12:05 p.m.