BATON ROUGE, La. – Sophomore Dallas Keuchel pitched a complete game seven hitter for the University of Arkansas baseball team but his efforts came up short as the LSU Tigers came away with the win at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., 4-2, on Sunday afternoon.
The outing was the longest of Keuchel’s career and on a day when both teams entered having combined for 42 runs in two games, the four runs allowed by Arkansas’ starter would have seemed to be enough. Arkansas however failed to get the hit when it needed it, scoring just two runs on three hits.
“It’s disappointing,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “I really thought that we would play well today, but the little things just added up. (Dallas) Keuchel pitched well and got ahead of hitters.”
The Loss drops Arkansas to 14-8 on the season and 2-4 in Southeastern Conference play while LSU improves to 14-7 and 2-4 in league action.
For the second time in three games the Razorbacks were the first team on the scoreboard as they were the beneficiary of a pair of walks to the first two batters, Chase Leavitt and Brett Eibner. After Logan Forsythe sacrificed the runners into scoring position, Casey Coon hit a sacrifice fly down the line in left field which scored Leavitt and gave Arkansas a 1-0 lead.
LSU matched Arkansas’ score in the bottom of the second on a single up the middle by the number nine hitter DJ LeMahieu, scoring Matt Clark who had led off the inning with a 3-2 walk. The Tigers wanted more, but a shot by Ryan Schimpf was run down at the wall by Leavitt in right field and prevented the big inning.
The Tigers would take the lead in the bottom of the fifth when LeMahieu opened the inning with his second single of the game. Schrimpf would attempt to sacrifice the runner to second, but a bobble by Keuchel on the play would give LSU runners on first and second with no outs. A bloop single to left would score LeMahieu and a second error by the Razorbacks on a potential inning ending double play would score Schrimpf and give LSU a 3-0 lead at the end of five.
Arkansas chipped away at the precarious two-run LSU lead with a run in the top of the eighth. Leavitt led off with a walk and stole second base. Forsythe followed with a walk and with Coon at the plate, Van Horn called a double steal at the right moment putting runners in scoring position with one out. Coon would ground out to shortstop, scoring Leavitt, and claiming his second RBI of the game. A fly ball to left ended the inning.
LSU would add a run for good measure in the bottom of the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Sean Ochinko which was set up by a Matt Clark double down the right field line.
The Razorbacks return to Fayetteville for a two-game set against Centenary College, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 24-25 with the Tuesday contest slated for a 6:35 p.m. start. For more information regarding Razorback baseball or University of Arkansas athletics please visit www.hogwired.com.