Walker pitches LSU to SEC tourney title, 4-2 over Arkansas

Kathleen Mckinney
May 29, 2017

In its fifth game in five days, SC ran out of steam as second seeded LSU reached 10 runs for the fifth consecutive game on their way to an 11-0 win over the Gamecocks in seven innings in the semifinals of the 2017 SEC Tournament. Over the course of the five games Arkansas played, Cole was one of the Hogs' most consistent hitters, going 9-for-22 (.409) with six run scored, five RBIs and two home runs.

Greg Deichmann homered twice and Tigers ace Jared Poche' (10-3) picked up his 37th career victory. Arkansas was 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.The Tigers went down in order in five of nine innings.There were three errors in the game - two committed by the Razorbacks.

The Hogs hit four home runs in the game, two by red-hot Chad Spanberger and one each by Eric Cole and Dominic Fletcher. Arkansas changed pitchers, struck out Deichmann, changed pitchers again, gave up a walk and a run to Nick Coomes, changed pitchers AGAIN, and gave up an RBI single to Josh Smith and a sac fly RBI to Beau Jordan.

And if that wasn't bad enough, there's this: The Tigers didn't record a hit against three Arkansas in the seven-inning contest, marking the first time in program history they have been no-hit in a game. LSU went on to plate three runs in the fourth to grab a commanding lead.

Alec Byrd (3-2) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win as three Seminoles relievers combined to hold the second-seeded Tar Heels (47-12) to three hits over the final seven innings. I just thought it was too big a hole. Walker limited the Hogs to one run and five hits before being replaced with no one on base and two out in the eighth inning. Spanberger, the tournament MVP, had five homers in Arkansas' five games.

Sunday's win marked the 12th SEC Championship in LSU baseball history, and the sixth in 10 years.

LSU Coach Paul Mainieri said he had never put the tying run on second base with an intentional walk in his 35 years, as he did in the ninth inning when he called for a walk to Arkansas slugger Chad Spanberger.

It's the second tournament semifinals appearance for the Razorbacks in the last four years and first since 2014.

Arkansas flew to its final regular-season series at Texas A&M on May 17, then flew to Birmingham, Ala., on May 20 after taking two of three from the Aggies.

Auburn has been eliminated from SEC Tournament play, and will now wait until Monday to find out where they will travel to participate in a NCAA Tournament Regional.

SC finished the SEC Tournament with eight homers and now have 58 on the year.

Arkansas fans will be in the minority for today's championship game, as LSU travels with a huge group of fans.

"Yeah, I think Rooker last night was like, 'You hit a double?"

"It was a pretty bold strategy, I'd say, because Luke is just as good a hitter as I am", he said.

Arledge went down slowly, got up and walked gingerly to first base with the help of a trainer.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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