FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Jess Todd kept the LSU offense off balance for 8.2 innings as No. 7 Arkansas recorded its first shutout over the Tigers in school history with a 5-0 win in front of a record crowd of 10,581 fans at Baum Stadium.
It was Todd’s third straight win to improve his record to 7-2 on the season and 6-1 in SEC play. He surrendered just seven hits and tied his career high with 10 strikeouts. He left with two on and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Todd had thrown two straight complete games entering Saturday.
The junior right-hander has been dominant over his last three starts with a 3-0 record and a 1.01 ERA in 26.2 innings with 25 strikeouts.
The Razorbacks run their record to 36-13 on the season and 16-7 in Southeastern Conference play. Arkansas moved into a tie with Vanderbilt at the top of the SEC standings after the Commodores were shutout 7-0 at Georgia. LSU falls to 27-21-1 on the season and 10-12-1 in league play.
Brian Walker provided the offense for the Hogs with a team-high three hits as UA collected 11 hits as a team. Walker put together a big all-around as he drove in two runs, threw out Chris Jackson on an attempted steal and picked off Steve Broschofsky at second base.
Ben Tschepikow also collected three hits with a RBI and his first career triple. Jeff Nutt went 2 for 3 with two doubles.
Sean Jones was hit by a pitch to lead off the game, but home plate umpire Larry Short, claimed Jones failed to get out of the way and kept the right fielder at home plate. That upset Hogs’ skipper Dave Van Horn, who was eventually ejected from the game by Short after a lengthy argument.
Jones would draw a walk on the next pitch and come around to score as Logan Forsythe grounded into a double play. That first inning 1-0 lead remained until bottom of the seventh when Jordan Mayer booted a two-out ground ball to first base that increased the UA lead to 2-0.
Arkansas put the game away with a three-run eighth inning keyed by a Walker’s two-RBI double into the left-center field gap. Tschepikow drove in the third run with a triple down the right-field line.
Charlie Furbush took the loss for the Tigers to fall to 3-7 on the season. He pitched well over his six innings allowing two runs – one earned – on seven hits with eight strikeouts. Michael Hollander paced the LSU offensive attack, going 2 for 4.
The rubber-game of the series is slated for 12:35 p.m. on Sunday from Baum Stadium and will be televised on Cox Sports (channel 119 in NW Arkansas). Arkansas is 7-0 in rubber games this season and 13-1 on Sunday.