Kade Scivicque had three hits, including a home run, and knocked in three runs as LSU advanced to the championship game of the Southeastern Conference tournament with an 11-1 eight-inning, mercy-rule victory against Arkansas on Saturday afternoon at Hoover (Ala.) Metropolitan Stadium.
HOW THEY SCORED
LSU second inning - With one out, Conner Hale hit a home run over the leftfield fence. LSU 1, ARKANSAS 0
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LSU fourth inning - With one out, Scivicque singled. After Hale flied out to leftfield, Scivicque moved to second on a wild pitch by Jackson Lowery. Moore hit a two-run homer over the rightfield fence. LSU 3, ARKANSAS 0
LSU fifth inning - Mark Laird had a leadoff single. After Alex Bregman flied out to the centerfielder, Jake Fraley had a bunt single. Laird scored on a single by Sean McMullen. Fraley, who moved to third on McMullen's hit, scored on a bunt single by Andrew Stevenson. McMullen and Stevenson scored on a double by Scivicque. After Hale grounded out to the shortstop, Scivicque scored on a single by Moore. LSU 8, ARKANSAS 0
Arkansas sixth inning - Alex Gosser singled. Michael Bernal walked. A single by Clark Eagan loaded the bases. Joe Serrano struck out and Brian Anderson fouled out to the rightfielder Laird. Gosser scored on a walk to Eric Fisher. LSU 8, ARKANSAS 1
LSU seventh inning - Scivicque hit a leadoff home run over the leftfield fence. LSU 9, ARKANSAS 1
LSU eighth inning - Bregman walked. After pinch-hitter Jared Foster flied out to the centerfielder, pinch-hitter Cade Stone singled. Both Bregman and Stone moved up a base on a wild pitch by Alex Phillips. Bregman scored on a single by pinch-hitter Chris Sciambra. Stone scored on a sacrifice fly to the leftfielder by pinch-hitter Chris Chinea. LSU 11, ARKANSAS 1
LSU WASTED SCORING OPPORTUNITIES
First inning - With two out, Fraley singled and stole second base. McMullen walked. Stevenson flied out to the centerfielder.
Sixth inning - Laird singled. After Bregman flied out to the leftfielder, Fraley singled. McMullen lined out to the second baseman. Stevenson grounded out to the second baseman.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYER
For the second time in eight days, Scivicque had a three-hit afternoon. Scivicque had three hits in LSU's victory at Auburn last Saturday. The three hits for Scivicque matched his season-high. He singled prior to Moore's home run in the fourth inning. Scivicque's two-run double was the big hit when LSU scored five times in the fifth. He led off the seventh with his sixth home run of the season.
Kyle Bouman gave the Tigers his best performance of the season in this semifinal matchup. Bouman allowed four runs in the first inning against Arkansas in the regular season. On Saturday, he limited the Razorbacks to one run and two hits in six innings as he claimed his fifth victory of the season. Bouman hit Anderson with a pitch with two out in the first. Then, he proceeded to set down the next 13 Arkansas batters. The Hogs loaded the bases in the sixth on two singles sandwiched around a walk. Bouman nearly kept the shutout in tact as he struck out Serrano and got Anderson to foul out. But, he walked Fisher at the end of a ten-pitch at-bat. Bouman ended the inning by getting Tyler Spoon to hit into a force play. The six innings were the most Bouman had thrown against a SEC opponent this year. Bouman walked two and struck out three.
The Tigers used two relievers to get the last six outs in the eight-inning game. Parker Bugg, who got four outs, gave up one hit. Henri Faucheux, who got the last two outs in the eighth, allowed one hit and struck out one.
LSU utilized its normal lineup against a righthanded pitcher. Moore was the first baseman with Hale at second base. Scivicque was the catcher with Fraley in leftfield and McMullen the designated hitter. . .Laird had his third straight multiple-hit game in the tournament with a pair of singles. Laird is 7-for-13 in the tournament. He has scored six runs and driven home four. . .Bregman had his hitting streak end at six games. He was robbed of a home run by Serrano in the sixth. . .Fraley equaled his season-high with three hits. He also stole his fifth game of the season. . .Hale extended his hitting streak to five games. He had a homer, his fourth of the year, and a single. . .Moore hit his fifth homer of the season and drove in another run with a single. . .Bregman and Christian Ibarra were the only two starters without a hit. . .Chinea's sacrifice fly ended the game by the mercy rule in the eighth. . .Arkansas starting pitcher Zach Jackson, a relief pitcher, was lifted after three innings. He gave up one run and two hits. . .Lowery, the first of four Razorbacks relief pitchers, yielded six runs and six hits in 1.1 innings. . .LSU stranded seven runners, four in scoring position. The Tigers were 6-for-12 with runners in scoring position. . .LSU has won seven consecutive games. The Tigers have had three seven-game winning streaks and one eight-game winning streak this season. . .Eagan had two of Arkansas' four hits. . .In LSU's current seven-game hitting streak, it has outscored the opposition 85-8. The Tigers have 104 hits in the seven games. . .The last time LSU won two games in the SEC tournament by at least ten runs was in 2001. The Tigers beat Florida 10-0 and Ole Miss 13-2 in that tournament. . .LSU has won four of five games from Arkansas in 2014. For the second straight year, the Tigers beat the Razorbacks in the semifinals. LSU beat Arkansas 3-1 last May. . .The Tigers scored 15 runs in winning four of five games en route to the SEC tournament title in 2013. LSU has scored 29 runs in three tournament victories this season. . .The Tigers will be making their 17th appearance in the SEC tournament championship game. LSU has won the title ten times, including four of the past six. . .The Tigers are 43-14-1 overall, while the Razorbacks are 38-23.
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
"Obviously, it was a great team victory for us. Kyle Bouman was the story of the game with five no-hit innings to keep them down. When we got the lead, I didn't think it was safe after watching them play the way they did (Friday). We gave Bouman an opportunity to pitch his way out of the sixth inning and he did. When he gets in trouble, he bears down and makes pitches. Even on the walk to Fisher, he was battling hard. It was a big shot in the arm for us with the NCAA tournament next week."
"We are proud of the way we swung the bat. I don't know what is up with Tyler Moore and the RBI streak he is on. It was a good, full-team effort. We are excited about playing in the championship game. It is a great experience for our players to sleep at night knowing they are going to wake up and play for a championship. I want them to get used to that feeling. Not a lot of athletes get to experience that. I have the sense they will excited to play tomorrow."
"Championship days are the most fun days in baseball. You can't put too much pressure on yourself. It is just another game. We have already played 60 games. You have to prepare mentally the same way you would normally. It is no different than any other Sunday. You are just playing for a championship. It is fun. You have to go out there and make the most of it."
"Our pitchers are competitive. They are going to give us a chance to win. They are really commanding their pitches. No matter the count, they can throw whatever they want for strikes."
LSU will play Florida for the SEC tournament championship at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Alden Cartwright will be the starting pitcher for the Tigers. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.