Watching Game 2 with my father-in-law, I had to explain the Rally Possum concept to him. He wasn’t familiar with the wild collapse in Baton Rouge from a season ago where the Hogs held a 9-1 lead that ended in a 10-9 loss. I had to explain it as the Hogs held an 8-2 lead going into the 8th and the TV cameras found an LSU fan with a stuffed possum held aloft and the commentators said something along the lines of “the rally possum isn’t working”.
It worked enough that LSU outscored the Hogs 11-0 over the last 13 innings of the weekend.
Game 1 took two days as the game was suspended due to lightning in the early innings on Tuesday. The Hogs were able to win 11-2.
Arkansas Pitchers really took over Game 2 recording 18 strikeouts for the first time since 2009. Kacey Murphy had 10 of them himself in only 4 innings. Arkansas won the game 6-1.
Arkansas is undefeated on Friday nights and was able to keep it that way with a 9-3 win over the Tigers. The Tigers did well early dealing with adversity as the Hogs racked up 6 hits and 5 walks on starting pitcher Alex Lange, but were only able to get 2 runs off of the LSU pitcher. The Hogs were able to get 7 more runs through the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings to take a 9-1 lead. LSU scored all three of it’s runs against Dominic Taccolini in the 7th and 8th innings, but wasn’t able to get much else going against the Razorback Pitching.
Arkansas was in command of the Saturday Night game until the 8th inning. Trevor Stephan gave up 2 runs on 5 hits through 7 innings while the Arkansas bats racked up 8 runs of their own. When Kevin Kopps took the mound in the 8th, everything turned. A double, a wild pitch, a walk, a fielder’s choice, a two run homer. In only 15 pitches, the lead was down to 3 and Kopps was in the dugout watching Cannon Chadwick cleanup the last 4 outs of the game. Chadwick struckout Romero for the 3rd out of the 8th. Arkansas continued to challenge LSU in the bottom of the 8th getting runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs, but was unable to score. The top of the 9th ended up being a mess. No runs scored, 2 outs, and the bases loaded, Chadwick hit Freeman for the first run. The second run came on a wild pitch. The 3rd and 4th runs came on a rushed overthrow by the shortstop biggers that should’ve ended the game. The Tigers scored one more time and the Hogs made more noise in the bottom of the 9th, but were silenced with the bases loaded on two pop-outs and a strike out.
In Game 3, Coach Van Horn was ejected in the 2nd inning. With LSU up 1-0, Van Horn shouted at the plate umpire Buckminster from the dugout when he disagreed with a low pitch that ended the inning for the Hogs. He was ejected without a warning. Arkansas was unable to get any bats going and managed only 4 hits and 2 walks. The Arkansas defense was good, but the shutout was better.
Arkansas travels to Springfield, MO for a midweek game on Tuesday and hosts Georgia over the weekend. Georgia is below .500 for the season and 2nd to last in the SEC East. The Hogs are currently tied with Auburn and Mississippi State for top in the West.