BATON ROUGE, La. – Brett Eibner and Collin Kuhn both had two hits Sunday afternoon for the No. 13 University of Arkansas baseball team in 5-1 loss to third-ranked LSU at Alex Box Stadium. The Razorbacks had scoring chances throughout the finale of the weekend series but stranded 11 runners on base. Eibner was responsible for Arkansas’ only run with a solo home run in the sixth inning. Zack Cox had a single in the first to extend his hitting streak to 18 games. "We had a chance to do some damage in the first inning," head coach Dave Van Horn said. "We might even be able to get (the LSU starter) out of the game and get to their bullpen early. We had the bases loaded with the five-hole hitter up. You have put the bat on the ball. Brett gave us a chance. He wiggled out of some trouble, as did their guy. It’s just been a disappointing last couple of days."
The Razorbacks had the initial scoring opportunity of Sunday’s contest. Kuhn was hit by a pitch from LSU starter Chris Matulis to lead off the game and Zack Cox followed with a single to left field. After a walk to James McCann, the bases were loaded for Arkansas, but Matulis got out of the inning unscathed with a strikeout and fly out.
LSU returned the favor with a bases-loaded situation in the home half of the first. Eibner, making his fifth start on the mound this season, gave up back-to-back singles and a walk to load the bases, but responded by striking out the final two hitters of the inning
Eibner struck out a season-high seven hitters in six innings of work, also a season high. The Razorback junior allowed thee runs-all earned-and walked two against the Tigers. With the loss, Eibner falls to 2-2 this season.
Arkansas wasted another chance in the top of the third. Once again Kuhn and Cox set the table to open the inning with a bunt single and walk, respectively. Matulis struck out the next two hitters and, ultimately, got out of the jam on a force play at second.
An RBI single by Matt Gaudet in the bottom of the fourth gave LSU a 1-0 lead. The base hit was followed by an error on Cox and a single to left field by Wet Delatte and the bases were loaded again for the home team with one out. Like he did in the first, Eibner struck out the next two hitters to limit the inning’s damage to one run.
Kuhn continued to get on base at the top of the batting order with a double to left field to lead off the fifth, his third time getting on base to lead off an inning. He moved over to third with this 10th stolen base of the season, but was stranded 90 feet from the plate.
LSU added a run in the fifth on a solo home run by Mikie Mahtook. The Tigers led, 2-0, heading into the sixth.
Eibner, pulling double duty, erased the effects of Mahtook’s home run with a solo shot of his own to lead off the Razorbacks’ half of the sixth. It was his fifth home run of the season, and third of the series. Tim Carver followed with a single to right field. He moved over to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a deep fly out by Bo Bigham. The Tigers turned to Paul Bertuccini out of the bullpen to record the final two outs of the inning.
The home team pushed its lead back to two after a two-out home run by Watkins. The Tigers’ lead-off hitter lined an Eibner offering over the fence in right field to extend the lead to 3-1. LSU added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh on a pair of RBI singles by Leon Landry and Austin Nola.
The Razorbacks continue their stay in Louisiana with a trip to Lake Charles for a midweek series against McNeese State. Both games of the two-game series, to be played Tuesday and Wednesday, are scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start at Cowboy Diamond.