The Razorbacks dropped game three and, ultimately, the series Saturday against LSU 7-4, but had a multitude of chances to notch a huge home SEC series win along the way.
Arkansas' offense, if you look at the box score, hit LSU's pitchers fairly well, tallying 10 hits for the game. But where the Razorbacks fell short was stranding 14 runners on base due to their inability to cash in when it really mattered.
But let's also give LSU some credit. They're offense and that lineup just doesn't quit. They pounded out 21 hits Friday night and 15 more today. DH Chris Sciambra recorded four hits in five at-bats and Andrew Stevenson tallied three hits of his own in five plate appearances.
But they weren't the ones who did the damage for Paul Maineri's lineup. Mark Laird, Alex Bregman and Conner Hale all finished with a pair of RBI and 9-hole Jared Foster added an RBI on a solo shot in the third inning.
Bregman, the All-American shortstop, did his damage in the fifth and seventh innings with an RBI double down the line in right and a sacrifice fly, respectively. Bregman also flashed the leather on several occasions and hasn't committed an error since the opening weekend of the season, according to LSU beat writer Ross Dellenger.
Conner Hale put the final nail in the Arkansas coffin in the top of the ninth when he homered off reliever Jacob Stone following a two-out walk to Bregman. The two-run shot put the Tigers up 7-4 and set the final score.
Despite the Razorback offense seemingly struggling, they had several chances to deliver, but we're ultimately just unable to piece together enough hits in the right moments.
Tyler Spoon got Arkansas on the board first in the fifth inning with an RBI single on the first pitch he saw to drive in Clark Eagan. With two runners on, Rick Nomura also swung at the first pitch he saw, grounding to Bregman for the final out of the inning.
It was pretty indicative of the day Arkansas was having at the plate until the seventh inning when Joe Serrano, who was previously 0-3, went yard off Zac Person to pull the Razorbacks within 5-3. Serrano then came back to the plate in the eighth and delivered an RBI single that brought Arkansas within one run.
Arkansas looked to be heading to the home half of the ninth down only one, but Jacob Stone walked Bregman with two down, bringing Hale to the plate, who homered to end the hopes of a comeback win.
The Razorbacks got a leadoff walk in the ninth from Nomura, and a single from Bernal, but time and time again, Arkansas stranded baserunners. Chad Spanberger stepped to the plate representing the tying run, but grounded out to Bregman to end it.
LSU won a series after losing the opener for the first time in five years. The Tigers also turned their first 5-2-3 double play in the Maineri era Saturday – coming with the bases loaded in the seventh inning.
The Tigers are the real deal this season, sitting at 21-3 (4-2 SEC) after this series. Arkansas fans have to credit their lineup for tagging starter Trey Killian for nine hits and three runs over six innings. Like I said before, they're lineup doesn't quit.
But Arkansas should feel like they squandered chances to take a big home series from top-ranked LSU. You just can't strand as many runners as the Razorbacks did and knock off one of the nation's best.