BATON ROUGE, La. – With just three weeks left in the regular season, the Arkansas baseball team will face No. 13 LSU at Alex Box Stadium for a three-game series with big postseason implications. Friday’s first pitch for game 1 is set for 7 p.m. CDT on SEC Network+.
Arkansas enters the game as winners of five of its last nine, but is coming off a tough 14-6 loss at the hands of Missouri State in Springfield, Missouri, on Tuesday. The loss snapped a 4-game midweek winning streak, but totaled 6 runs on 10 hits as Carson Shaddy and Luke Bonfield combined to go 4 for 10.
The Razorbacks are going with a familiar rotation this weekend against the Tigers as Dominic Taccolini will get the start on Friday, followed by Zach Jackson on Saturday and Keaton McKinney on Sunday. LSU will counter with Alex Lange on Friday and Jared Poche’ on Saturday. LSU head coach Paul Mainieri has yet to announce a starter for game 3.
Things to know
Shaddy had one of his best weeks of the season last week as he went 9 for 17 (.529) at the plate during the four game stretch against Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. Three of his 9 hits went for extra-bases as he had a triple and 2 home runs.
Shaddy continued his hot hitting Tuesday against Missouri State, hitting his third home run in 4 games, tying him for the team-lead with 8 on the year. He is currently on a 9-game hitting streak, which is the longest active streak on the team and just 1 game shy of his season-long record.
The home runs were his first since March 4 against Eastern Illinois and he currently leads all Hog hitters with a .357 batting average and 60 hits, joining Clark Eagan as one of two Razorback players with 50 or more hits this year.
Senior Rick Nomura also polished off a solid weekend against the Aggies going 9 for 16 (.563) with 2 doubles, 4 runs scored and 3 RBIs. The Hawaiian had a 7-game hitting streak going into Tuesday’s game with the Bears, but was unable to find the hit column, going 0 for 3 with a run scored.
Nomura leads all Razorbacks with 12 doubles and also has 24 RBIs, both being personal-best totals for a season in his Razorback career.
Taccolini will be taking the mound Friday in hopes of earning his third win in as many starts. After his complete-game masterful performance against Kentucky two weeks ago, Taccolini followed up with a 6 inning, 6 strikeout performance against No. 2 Texas A&M, giving him his fifth win of the year, which leads all Razorback pitchers.
During his last two starts, Taccolini has thrown 16 innings and only given up 5 runs, 2 walks and struck out 16 batters. His complete game shutout against Kentucky was the first of its kind for a Razorback since 1982 and the longest such outing by an SEC pitcher this season.
Saturday’s game 2 between the Hogs and Tigers will have first pitch set at 6:30 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU as Matt Stewart and Ben McDonald will call the action. Sunday’s finale will be at 1 p.m. on SEC Network+.
Phil Elson (PXP) can heard on the radio via the Razorback Sports Network from IMG. Fans in the Fayetteville area can listen to the game on the flagship station 92.1 FM The Ticket or online at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Fri | 7 p.m. | (ARK) RHP Dominic Taccolini (5-2, 4.81 ERA, 53/17 K/BB) vs. (LSU) RHP Alex Lange (5-3, 4.05 ERA, 82/34 K/BB)
Sat | 6:30 p.m. | (ARK) RHP Zach Jackson (3-4, 5.11 ERA, 54/30 K/BB) vs. (LSU) LHP Jared Poche’ (5-4, 3.62 ERA, 54/25 K/BB)
Sun | 1 p.m. | (ARK) RHP Keaton McKinney (1-3, 5.84 ERA, 26/26 K/BB) vs. (LSU) TBA