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LIVE BLOG: We're Starting Things Early in Baton Rouge
By allHOGS Staff,
Follow along with all the action as the early-season Top 5 matchup starts at noon.
BATON ROUGE, La. — No. 5 Arkansas (19-2, 3-0 SEC), winners of 14 consecutive games, goes down to Baton Rouge, La., this weekend for a top-five showdown against No. 1 LSU (19-2, 2-1 SEC) at Alex Box Stadium.
First pitch in the three-game set between the Hogs and Tigers is scheduled for noon on Friday, March 24. The series opener, originally scheduled for 7 p . m., was moved up due to forecasted inclement weather in the Baton Rouge area.
Arkansas is seeking its fourth consecutive series win against SEC Western Division rival LSU as well as back-to-back series wins in Baton Rouge for the first time in program history.
The Razorbacks ride a 14-game winning streak into this weekend’s top-five throwdown against the Tigers. It marks Arkansas’ longest in-season winning streak since head coach Dave Van Horn took over at the helm in 2003 as well as the longest in-season winning streak in program history since the Razorbacks won the first 18 games of the 1996 season.
In Van Horn’s 21 seasons as Head Hog, Arkansas has posted eight winning streaks of 10 or more games:
16 – March 7, 2020 – March 13, 2021 14 – March 1-21, 2023 13 – April 3-23, 2010 12 – Feb. 11 – March 8, 2005 12 – March 5-25, 2022 10 – Feb. 11 – March 5, 2003 10 – March 4-21, 2012 10 – May 16 – June 5, 2021
The longest winning streak of the DVH era (16 games) took place across two seasons. Arkansas won its final four games of the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign before winning its first 12 games of the 2021 season.
CHANGE IN SCHEDULE
Shortly before the start of this game, the announcement came flying in on social media that due to bad weather predicted in Baton Rouge on Sunday they have scheduled a doubleheader for tomorrow starting at 1 p.m.
And you thought Saturday was going to be an easy day.
FIRST INNING (TOP)
LSU pitcher Paul Skenes' first pitch to Tavian Josenberger was 100 miles an hour and it didn't slow down as the sits the Razorbacks down in order on just 9 pitches. This will be a fast-moving game if that continues.
FIRST INNING (BOTTOM)
Hunter Hollan on the mound for the Hogs and Dylan Crews got on when a ground ball at Harold Coll up at third base. Now LSU has something going. Hollan gets the second out on a high grounder back to the mound. The Hogs get out of the inning with no damage with a third out pop-up to Brady Slavens at first base.
SECOND INNING (TOP)
Skenes keeps rolling, sitting the Hogs down in order, but at least it took 13 pitches this time. Right now he's still throwing around 100 and is practically unhittable for the Hogs, which means Hollan has to keep LSU off the board to keep up.
SECOND INNING (BOTTOM)
Hollan sits the Tigers down in order and he's not throwing the heat and strikes like Skenes, but he's keeping them off base and no damage, which is the goal.
THIRD INNING (TOP)
After all that heat, Skenes goes to the breaking ball and the Hogs can't do a thing with it, only seeing 11 pitches. The LSU pitcher has started off every Razorbacks hitter he's faced throwing a strike.
THIRD INNING (BOTTOM)
Hollan is also keeping LSU's hot lineup off the bases and we're through three innings and not an awful lot of action to be talking about. We're on the verge of talking about foul balls that somehow don't hit somebody sitting in the stands.
FOURTH INNING (TOP)
The Hogs finally get something happening as Josenbarger doubled to start things, then got to third on a wild pitch. Josenbarger scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by Peyton Stovall for just the third run off Skenes this season as the sun makes an appearance in Baton Rouge. HOGS 1, LSU 0
FOURTH INNING (BOTTOM)
LSU answered with some noise after a couple of quick outs when Tre' Morgan came within a foot of a massive blast over the center field wall, but it bounced off the wall for a triple. He delayed breaking for home when a pitch got away from Hogs' catcher Parker Rowland and Hollan tagged him out before he got close to the plate to end the inning. HOGS 1, LSU 0
FIFTH INNING (TOP)
Back to routine. Skenes strikes out Jace Bohrofen, a routine fly by Kendall Diggs and strikes out Coll for another quick inning. HOGS 1, LSU 0
FIFTH INNING (BOTTOM)
Hollan sits down the Tigers in order with a pair of strikeouts as he's now struck out 6 for the game, making this game move along at a very rapid rate. HOGS 1, LSU 0
SIXTH INNING (TOP)
Skenes delivers a walk to John Bolton after his 10th strikeout. After another free pass to Josenbarger, Stovall grounded out to second, but moved a pair of runners into scoring position. After Skenes gets his third 3-2 count of the inning, he loads the bases with a walk to Jared Wagner. The announcers are talking about this is the first time they've seen this from Skenes on the mound this year and he's loaded the bases. Stovall looks at a close pitch that sits him down and they can't add to the lead. Hogs 1, LSU 0
SIXTH INNING (BOTTOM)
After Hollan gives up a single and strikes out the next LSU batter, Dave Van Horn goes to the bullpen and Hagen Smith comes on and this is probably why the pitching settled down using this combination on Friday. Smith delivers a strikeout the next two batters to end the inning and his pitches are sinking and the Tigers' batters are completely off. HOGS 1, LSU 0
SEVENTH INNING (TOP)
Bohrofen leads off with a single and after a pair of strikeouts, gets thrown out at second base when he was running when Coll struck out and a big-time throw by Tigers catcher Brady Neal after he pump-faked a throw to first. HOGS 1, LSU 0
SEVENTH INNING (BOTTOM)
Smith hits the first batter, but settles down quickly, getting a fly-out to left field, then another strikeout before giving up a two-out single to right field. Rowland ends the inning with a throw from his knees behind the plate to first to get LSU's Brayden Jobert too far off on a pitch. HOGS 1, LSU 0
EIGHTH INNING (TOP)
Hogs get into the LSU bullpen, but it doesn't matter. Tigers' Chase Shores comes in throwing some heat that moves around a lot and strikes out a pair of Hogs. HOGS 1, LSU 0
EIGHTH INNING (BOTTOM)
Freshman Tigers catcher Brady Neal managed to get under a pitch and got it over the left-field wall to tie the game. Smith gives up a single with Dylan Crews coming up next for LSU. He hits a slow roller to shortstop for a pair of runners with just one out. Smith gets a foul caught by Slavens that nearly got to the seats for the second out, then delivered a walk to load the bases with two outs. He gets out of it with a foul ball popup that Coll circles and catches in front of the Razorbacks' dugout on the third-base line. We are tied going to the last inning. HOGS 1, LSU 1
NINTH INNING (TOP)
Hogs get a lead-off single to right by Stovall, but two strikeouts and a fly ball squanders that and we're headed to the bottom of the ninth. HOGS 1, LSU 1
NINTH INNING (BOTTOM)
Smith may have saved his best for the ninth inning as he strikes out the side to send it to extra innings. HOGS 1, LSU 1
10TH INNING (TOP)
Hogs get a lead-off walk from Diggs and LSU changes pitchers, bringing in Christian Little, another tall right-hander (do the Tigers recruit basketball players to pitch?), and he gives up a grounder to Coll before walking Rowland on four pitches. Reese Robinette comes in to pinch-hit and delivers a three-RBI homer over the left-center field wall. Josenberger followed with a single to left, then Stovall got a shot off the second baseman's wrist and the Hogs have runners at second and third with one out.
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