The 20th-ranked and No. 7 seed Arkansas baseball team (38-23) saw its tournament run come to an end after five games in five days, falling 11-1 to 8th-ranked and No. 3 seed LSU (43-14-1) Saturday in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament.
The Razorbacks finished the regular season and SEC Tournament winning nine of 12 games and advanced to the semifinal round of the SEC Tournament for the second consecutive year.
Arkansas tallied three or more wins in the SEC Tournament for the fourth time in program history and its five games in five days is the most in a SEC Tournament since playing six and advancing to the championship game in 1999.
LSU used the long ball to score early, launching a solo homer in the second inning, before a two-run blast in the fourth inning gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead. The Tigers would lead 8-0 before Arkansas got on the board in the sixth inning when Eric Fisher worked a 10-pitch walk with the bases loaded to make it 8-1. LSU would go on to score a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth to end the game 11-1.
Joe Serrano saved a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning when he tracked down a fly ball in left field and leaped above the wall to rob LSU of its third home run of the day.
Arkansas sent five pitchers to the mound on the day, with Zach Jackson getting the start and lasting 3.0 innings. He gave up one run on two hits, while striking out one. Clark Eagan paced the offense with a pair of base knocks to finish the SEC Tournament with a team-high seven hits.
The Razorbacks will now await word on an at-large bid to the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Regional hosts for the field of 64 will be announced Sunday at 8 p.m., while the remaining teams will be announced M3onday at 11 a.m. on ESPNU.
Arkansas will look to make its 13th straight NCAA Regional appearance in 2014 and 27th NCAA Tournament appearance overall. Entering play Saturday, the Razorbacks were No. 30 in the NCAA Rating Percentage Index (RPI) with 17 wins over top 50 RPI squads. Arkansas has defeated 12 top 25 teams this season, including six of those when they were ranked in the top 10.
For more information on Arkansas baseball, follow @RazorbackBSB on Twitter.
Head Coach Dave Van Horn Quotes
Opening comment: “First off, congratulations to LSU again. They played extremely well. They pitched well, and hit the ball hard. As far as our team today, I felt like coming in to today, we obviously had a chance. You could just tell after a couple innings, everything was a little bit in slow motion for us. I think guys were tired. Five games in a row, pretty hot. It’s no excuse but it is an excuse. It was just one of those things, we ran out of gas. We obviously ran out of pitching, we had to recycle guys. Not to take anything away from LSU, they got after us. On the other end, it just didn’t happen. I don’t think we had enough left in the tank.”
·The Razorbacks move to 26-35 all-time in the SEC Tournament.
·Arkansas had at least three wins in the SEC Tournament for the fourth time in program history.
·The Razorbacks played in the SEC Tournament semifinals for the second straight season.
·Arkansas is 9-3 in its last 12 games, all coming against SEC teams.
·The Razorbacks just completed a stretch of eight games in a 10-day span.
·Saturday’s semifinal matchup with LSU marked the 10th time Arkansas played the Tigers in the last two seasons.
·The Razorbacks turned a double play in seventh inning for their SEC-leading 58th on the year.