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Jay Sawatski Named SEC Pitcher of the Week; Ho

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Jay Sawatski Named SEC Pitcher of the Week; Ho

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After earning a win and a save against second-ranked LSU over the weekend, Arkansas senior Jay Sawatski was named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week.
The senior from Little Rock, Ark., helped the Razorbacks earn their first win in Baton Rouge since 1996, their first-ever series win over LSU in Baton Rouge and the first SEC sweep of the Tigers at Alex Box Stadium since 1988.
“This is a well-deserved honor for Jay,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “He did a tremendous job for us this weekend. He came into a tight situation Friday and Saturday and got the job done.”
Sawatski earned the win in Friday’s series opener after he pitched six and one-third innings in relief. Sawatski entered the game in the third inning after LSU had rallied for four runs and cut the Arkansas lead to 9-7.
The Tigers had runners on the corners with two outs when Sawatski struck out Ryan Patterson to end the rally and the inning. Sawatski would allow only one earned run on six hits while never giving the Tigers a chance to mount a comeback.
“Jay did a super job Friday night,” Van Horn added. “He came in the game when LSU was getting some momentum and had cut our lead to only two runs. He stopped them from tying the game or taking the lead and really settled things down to give us a chance to win.”
After throwing 70 pitches Friday night, Sawatski was not scheduled to be in the rotation for Saturday or Sunday. But, with Arkansas holding a one-run lead in the bottom of the 10th inning Saturday the senior lefty was called in to record the final out with the tying run at third.
Sawatski did just that as he struck out Derek Hebert on a called third strike to clinch the series victory for the Razorbacks.
On Sunday, Sawatski was nearly called upon again to close the game after LSU put a runner on in the bottom of the ninth inning. Sawatski had warmed up in the bullpen and was ready to enter the game when Charley Boyce forced a double play to end the scoring threat. Boyce fanned the final batter of the game to give the Hogs a series sweep.
Arkansas (23-11, 8-4) is currently tied for first place with Ole Miss in the SEC Western Division. The Razorbacks also reentered the national polls following the sweep. Baseball America has the Razorbacks 21st in the country, while Collegiate Baseball has the Hogs 18th.
The Razorbacks host No. 24 Oral Roberts Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Arkansas will then travel to Nashville, Tenn., to take on No. 22 Vanderbilt.



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