FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -Luke Weatherford scored the winning run on a wild play with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Arkansas a 5-4 win over No. 1 LSU Saturday night in the second game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Baum Stadium.
The victory clinched the Razorbacks’ (25-25, 10-16 SEC) second regular season series victory over the Fighting Tigers (36-15-1, 17-9 SEC) in three years and extended UA’s winning streaks to five games overall and four games in league play. The Hogs won Friday’s series opener, 8-1.
Arkansas reliever Layne Berry (1-2) his first victory as a Razorback after coming on to record the final out in the top of the ninth inning. LSU reliever Roy Corcoran (7-4) worked 2 2/3 innings and took the loss after allowing Weatherford’s one-out single in the bottom of the ninth.
With the game tied 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Weatherford singled to bring Brian Wilson out of the Tiger bullpen. Weatheford stole second base and Brian Kirby drew a walk before Michael Conner chopped an infield single that was fielded by LSU shortstop Ryan Theriot as Weatheford and Kirby moved to third and second, respectively. Theriot faked a throw to first to lure Weatheford to round third base, then ran him back toward third and threw to Pontiff. Weatherford broke for home before Pontiff’s throw hit him in the back and bounced away from catcher Matt Heath, allowing Weatherford to slide into home for the winning run.
Razorback starter Gary Hogan Jr. scattered seven hits in 8 1/3 innings before singles by Todd Linden and Johnnie Thibodeaux brought Jeremy Rankin out of the UA bullpen with a 4-2 lead. A wild pitch by Rankin allowed Linden to score and moved Thibodeaux to third. David Raymer followed with a sacrifice fly to score Thibodeaux, tying the game at 4-4.
Linden’s RBI single in the first inning gave LSU a 1-0 lead it held until UA’s Andrew Wishy hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the second for a 2-1 Razorback lead. Wishy’s homer was his third of the year.
Theriot’s RBI double in the top of the fifth inning tied the game at 2-2 until Conner’s RBI infield single gave UA a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the inning. Theriot and Linden each had two hits to lead the Tigers.
UA stretched the lead to 4-2 in the sixth on Jeff Hoefler’s RBI single. Hoefler and Conner had two hits each to lead the Hogs. Hoefler extended his hitting streak to a career-best nine games.
Sunday’s series finale will be the Razorbacks’ final home game of the year. UA will honor its six seniors prior to the game. Arkansas senior left-handed pitcher Wes McCrotty (3-2, 5.45 ERA) will make his final start before at Baum Stadium while LSU will send senior left-hander Tim Nugent (6-1, 3.05 ERA) to the mound.