Jared Foster had three hits, including two doubles, and the LSU bullpen allowed one run in seven-plus innings as the Tigers gained a berth in the Southeastern Conference tournament semifinals with a 10-5 victory against Arkansas at Hoover (Ala.) Metropolitan Stadium on Thursday night.
HOW THEY SCORED
LSU first inning - Mark Laird singled. Laird advanced to third when third baseman Bobby Wernes made a throwing error to second base on Jake Fraley's ground ball. Fraley stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Carson Shaddy. Laird scored on the error. Alex Bregman walked. Fraley scored on Conner Hale's sacrifice fly to the centerfielder. Bregman stole second and went to third on a throwing error by Shaddy. Bregman scored on a wild pitch by James Teague. After Kade Scivicque grounded out to the third baseman, Andrew Stevenson singled. Stevenson stole second and scored on Chris Chinea's single. LSU 4, ARKANSAS 0
LSU second inning - Foster doubled and scored on Laird's double. Laird moved to third on Fraley's ground out to the shortstop and scored on Bregman's single. LSU 6, ARKANSAS 0
Arkansas second inning - Rick Nomura singled and Wernes walked. After Brett McAfee popped out to the first baseman Chinea, Nomura scored on Michael Bernal's single. After Shaddy struck out, Wernes scored on Clark Eagan's single. Bernal scored and Eagan went to second on Austin Bain's wild pitch. Eagan scored on Joe Serrano's single. LSU 6, ARKANSAS 4
LSU fourth inning - Foster doubled and went to third on Laird's ground out to the second baseman. Foster scored on Fraley's single. Fraley moved to third on pitcher Jackson Lowery's throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Fraley scored on Bregman's sacrifice fly to the centerfielder. LSU 8, ARKANSAS 4
LSU seventh inning - Fraley reached third base on a dropped fly ball by centerfielder Andrew Benintendi. Fraley scored on Bregman's sacrifice fly to the rightfielder. Hale doubled. After Scivicque flied out to the centerfielder, Hale scored on Stevenson's single. LSU 10, ARKANSAS 4
Arkansas seventh inning - Eagan singled. After pinch-hitter Luke Bonfield struck out, Eagan moved to second on Benintendi's ground out to the shortstop Bregman. Eagan scored on Tyler Spoon's single. LSU 10, ARKANSAS 5
LSU'S MISSED SCORING OPPORTUNITIES
Eighth inning - With two out, Foster singled and advanced to second on Jacob Stone's balk. Laird reached safely on the shortstop Bernal's error. Fraley struck out.
LSU HITTER OF THE GAME
Foster continued his hot hitting since he was reinstated to the team for the start of the South Carolina series. Foster led off the second with a double and scored on Laird's double. He also opened the fourth with a double and came around to score on Fraley's single. Foster's third hit was a two-out single in the eighth. Foster, who went 3-for-4, has had four multiple-hit games out of his last five. Foster is batting .450 (9-for-20) in that stretch.
Foster's comments: "We've got to pick each other up. The pitching had a tough day to start out, but we picked them up. I am relaxing and having fun after getting a second chance."
LSU PITCHER OF THE GAME
After Bain nearly lost a six-run lead, Russell Reynolds was called on to settle things down for the Tigers. Reynolds entered the game with two out in the second inning and the tying run at the plate. Reynolds retired Benintendi, the SEC's leader in home runs, on a fly ball to Fraley in leftfield. Reynolds proceeded to throw three more shutout innings. He allowed two singles - by Nomura in the third and Shaddy in the fourth. Reynolds struck out McAfee with Nomura at second base and two out. Reynolds, who retired 10 of the 12 batters he faced, registered three strikeouts. Reynolds improved his record to 6-0.
Reynolds' comments: "The bullpen has had to throw about eight innings in both of the last two games, so we've shown that the bullpen is not a weakness of our team. We don't know if we have a weakness."
The LSU lineup was the same for the second consecutive game. . .Bregman only had one hit - a RBI single in the second, but he had three other productive at-bats. He walked and scored a run on a wild pitch in the first. Bregman had sacrifice flies to bring home runs in the fourth and seven innings. The two sacrifice flies tied the LSU record. The last Tigers player with two sacrifice flies in a game was Mason Katz against Jackson State in 2013. Bregman also stole two bases. He has 32 for the year - the fifth most by a LSU player in a season. Bregman has 60 career steals, which ties him with Mikie Mahtook for fifth place on LSU's all-time rankings. . .Both Laird and Stevenson had two hits and a RBI. . .Bregman and Stevenson have hit safely in the Tigers' last four games. . .LSU stranded five runners - two in scoring position. The Tigers were 6-for-11 with runners in scoring position. . .LSU had 12 hits with every starter except for Scivicque and Chris Sciambra getting one. . .Teague gave up six runs and six hits in two innings. The four first-inning runs off Teague were unearned. . .Jackson Lowery did a good job out of the Arkansas bullpen although he allowed four runs in five innings. Three of the four runs were unearned due to errors by Lowery and Benintendi. . .The Razorbacks committed six errors - the most by a team in a SEC tournament game in 16 years. Only three of the Tigers' ten runs were earned. . .Bain, who was given a six-run lead, could not last two innings. He pitched a scoreless first, but allowed four runs in the second. Three of the four runs came across with two out on singles by Eagan and Serrano sandwiched around a wild pitch. In the first two games of the tournament, Tigers starting pitchers have worked a combined 2.2 innings. . .The only LSU relief pitcher to allow a run was Alden Cartwright. The Hogs scored a run on two hits off Cartwright in the seventh. . .Three Tigers relief pitchers each threw a scoreless inning - Jesse Stallings, Hunter Newman and Zac Person. Stallings walked a batter, while Newman and Person threw perfect innings. . .Eagan and Nomura each had two hits for the Razorbacks. . .Arkansas stranded six runners - one in scoring position. The Hogs were 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position. . .LSU (48-9) has won nine consecutive games in the SEC tournament. . .Arkansas (35-21) lost both of its games in last season's SEC tournament to LSU. . .The paid attendance was 8,361.
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
Coach Paul Mainieri's comments: "The key to the game tonight was Russell Reynolds, who came in and did a tremendous job. We didn't get a good starting pitching performance, but Reynolds picked Bain up. The rest of the bullpen did a good job after that."
LSU will play the winner of Friday's game between Florida and Arkansas in the semifinals Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for about 3 p.m. Central time. Alex Lange (10-0, 2.11 ERA) will be the starting pitcher for the Tigers. LSU's Thursday game will be broadca