Baton Rouge, La. – The Arkansas Razorbacks completed a series sweep of No. 2 LSU with a 7-5 Sunday victory marking the first league sweep of the Tigers in Baton Rouge since 1988.Arkansas improved to 23-11 overall and 8-4 in the Southeastern Conference. LSU fell to 24-9 overall and 6-6 in league play.
It had been 16 years since LSU suffered a sweep in league play at Alex Box Stadium. Virtually every player on the Arkansas roster was in elementary school or still in diapers the last time the Tigers lost all three games of a home SEC series. The last league team to accomplish the feat was the Auburn Tigers in 1988.
Clint Brannon (1-1) earned the win in relief of starter Justin White. Brannon threw two and two-thirds innings allowing two runs, both earned, on four hits with three strikeouts.
Charley Boyce picked up his first save of the season after pitching the final one and one-third innings. Boyce fanned two and allowed only one hit.
Nate Bumstead (5-1) took the loss after allowing seven runs, six earned, on 12 hits in seven and two-thirds innings of work.
Arkansas picked up its first SEC road sweep since taking three game from Kentucky last season. The Hogs’ three wins over the Wildcats was also the last overall series sweep of a league foe for Arkansas.
Scott Hode gave the Razorbacks a 1-0 lead with a single up the middle that plated Jake Dugger in the top of the first inning. Dugger singled on the first pitch of the game, stole second and moved to third on a deep fly ball to left-center.
Jon Zeringue tied the game in the bottom of the second inning with a solo home run to left field. It came with two outs in the inning and was the 10th home run of the season for Zeringue.
The Razorbacks put runners on the corner to open the third inning. Scott Bridges singled, stole second and moved to third on Dugger’s bunt single.
Danny Hamblin made it a 4-1 game with a three-run home run to left following Dugger’s single. It was Hamblin’s second home run of the series and the sixth Razorback dinger of the series.
LSU cut into the Arkansas lead in the bottom of the third when Ryan Patterson doubled home Will Harris. Harris had reached on a leadoff double just inside the third base bag. His run made it a 4-2 game.
Still in the bottom of the third, an infield hit by Blake Gill put runners on the corners with only one out. Arkansas got out of the inning when White forced Matt Liuzza to hit into a double play for the final two outs.
Scott Bridges answered the Tigers in the top of the fourth with a two-out solo home run that cleared the wall in left field. It was Bridges’ first home run of the season and fourth of his career.
In the bottom of the fourth, LSU put runners on the corners with only one out. But, for the second straight inning the Razorbacks got a double play to end the inning and prevent an LSU rally from beginning.
The Tigers got a single and a walk to open the bottom of the fifth inning. Patterson then hit a fly ball deep to left that Dugger caught at the base of the wall for the first out of the inning.
Brannon relieved White and got Gill to fly out to left for the second out of the inning. Liuzza singled to right to plate Will Harris from second and cut the Arkansas lead to 5-3.
Brannon ended the rally when he fanned Clay Harris on a swinging third strike.
Bridges opened the seventh with his third hit of the day. He promptly stole second and moved to third on a wild throw by catcher Matt Liuzza.
Hamblin then hit a fly ball that right fielder Jon Zeringue allowed to hit off his glove and roll into foul territory, allowing Bridges to score and give the Hogs a 6-3 advantage.
A one-out double by Holt opened the bottom of the seventh inning. Holt moved to third on a wild pitch by Brannon and scored on a single to center by Patterson. His run made it a 6-4 game.
Brannon then gave up a two-out single to Clay Harris that plated Patterson and cut the Arkansas lead to 6-5. Brannon ended the inning when he struck out Naccarata looking with runners on first and second.
Haas Pratt extended the Arkansas lead to 7-5 with a solo home run to center to open the top of the eighth inning. It was Arkansas’ eighth home run of the weekend and third of the game.
Boyd Goodner relieved Brannon in the eighth inning and gave up two quick singles. Will Harris put down a bunt to advance the runners, but Pratt fielded the bunt and fired a strike to Hode covering third to get the lead runner for the first out.
Goodner then got Holt to fly out deep to left for the second out of the inning. Boyce was then brought in for Goodner with runners at first and second and two down.
Boyce wasted no time ending the inning as he fanned Patterson on three pitches to send the game to the ninth inning.
In the ninth, after allowing a leadoff single by Gill, Boyce forced Liuzza into a double play to put the Hogs one out away from the sweep. Boyce ended the game by striking out Clay Harris on a called third strike.
Arkansas returns home to host Oral Roberts Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. The Razorbacks then travel to Nashville, Tenn., for a weekend series against the Vanderbilt Commodores.