Baseball Falls After Ninth-Inning Run, 4-3

by Bill Franques
Baseball at Arkansas - Game 3 Audio Replay Printable Box Score +0
Baseball Falls After Ninth-Inning Run, 4-3

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas leftfielder Kyle Robinson lifted a game-winning sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday to give the 18th-ranked Razorbacks a 5-4 win over No. 15 LSU.

Arkansas improved to 23-8 overall and 6-6 in the SEC with its second straight walk-off win against the Tigers. LSU is now 21-11 overall and 3-9 in conference play.

LSU returns to action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when the Tigers play host to Northwestern State in Alex Box Stadium.

Sunday’s game was tied at  4-4 entering the ninth when the Razorbacks staged an uprising against LSU reliever Matty Ott (0-2). Second baseman Bo Bighmam led off with a double, and he moved to third when third baseman Matt Reynolds laid down a sacrifice bunt that was misplayed by Ott for an error.

Ott intentionally walked designated hitter Sam Bates to load the bases before Robinson hit a fly ball into left-center field that was deep enough to score Bigham from third and give the Razorbacks the win.

“This was another very tough game in an intense environment, and our players competed hard on every pitch,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “I know it’s frustrating for everybody – fans, players and coaches alike – but we’re so close to being the team we expect to be. We have to move forward and keep working to become better with each practice and each game.”

Arkansas reliever Cade Lynch (3-1) was credited with the win as he worked 1.1 scoreless innings, allowing one hit with one walk and three strikeouts.

Ott absorbed the loss as he was charged with one run on one hit in 2.2 innings with two walks and three strikeouts.

The Razorbacks grabbed a 1-0 lead against LSU starter Ben Alsup in the third inning when first baseman Dominic Ficociello lined an RBI single.

Arkansas extended its lead to 3-0 in the fourth as rightfielder Jarrod McKinney tripled and shortstop Tim Carver launched a two-run homer, his first dinger of the season.

LSU took its first lead of the contest in the sixth when shortstop Austin Nola ripped a grand slam into left field, his second homer of the season.

Catcher Ty Ross and designated hitter Raph Rhymes started the rally with consecutive singles, and they advanced on a groundout by third baseman Tyler Hanover. After centerfielder Mikie Mahtook was intentionally walked by Arkansas starter Randall Fant, reliever Barrett Astin was called upon to face Nola, who drilled an Astin pitch into the bleachers to give the Tigers a 4-3 advantage.

Arkansas tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth on Carver’s RBI groundout.