The No. 1 Arkansas Razorbacks took game one of their series in Baton Rouge against the LSU Tigers by shutting them out at home 7-0 on Friday night. Patrick Wicklander put in another dominant performance for the Hogs by holding the Tigers to just three total hits, and Kevin Kopps would shut the door late by holding LSU scoreless for the third time this season.
Both sides struggled to produce much offensively through the first several innings, but the Hogs would break the game open and eventually pull away through Christian Franklin who produced five RBIs to power the Razorbacks to victory.
Most of the game was an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel between Wicklander for the Hogs and Landon Marceaux for the Tigers. There was only one hit over the first six innings for either team.
Coming off his last outing against South Carolina where he only gave up one run and two hits, Wicklander shut down LSU on Friday night. For the second start in a row, he basically went seven innings and only gave up three hits and zero runs or walks along with five strikeouts. He also sat the Tigers in order in five of those innings while lowering his ERA on the season to 1.89. Maybe it’s the glasses, but Wicklander is starting to settle into the role once held by Isaiah Campbell on this team.
He also got some help from Cayden Wallace along the way.
However, at the same time, the Hogs could not get anything off of Marceaux until the seventh inning. Matt Goodheart would finally get Arkansas’s first hit of the night, and Brady Slavens would add a second hit which advanced Goodheart to third and put himself on second. Up would step Christian Franklin who had struggled to produce lately, going only 2-for-23 up to this point. However, he saw a pitch that he liked and with a swing to left-centerfield, the Hogs finally got on the board 2-0 over LSU.
They would extend their lead in the eighth. Jacob Hasty came in relief of Marceaux, but the Razorbacks would manage to load the bases and add two more runs on a single by Slavens. Franklin then put the game out of reach on the next at-bat with a bases-clearing bomb on a pitch right down the middle to make it 7-0 for the Hogs.
Meanwhile, Kevin Kopps would enter the game close it out once again. He faced seven batters and struck out five. Game, set, match.
Kevin Kopps. 5Ks in 2.1 IP tonight.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 1, 2021
71Ks in 39.1 IP for the year.
You want to dominate hitters?
Call the Kopps. pic.twitter.com/xTtBbSsVPT
Arkansas’s pitching just keeps getting better. The Hogs held South Carolina to a pair of two-hitters in their last series, and now they can add a three-hitter tonight. Of course, Wicklander got the win and is 3-1. Arkansas is now 33-7 overall and 14-5 in the SEC.
Tomorrow will be another doubleheader with the first pitch at 2 pm.