Aaron Nola won his tenth game of the season and Tyler Moore collected three hits, including a home run, as LSU defeated Arkansas in a winners' bracket game of the Southeastern Conference tournament Thursday evening at Hoover (Ala.) Metropolitan Stadium.
HOW THEY SCORED
Arkansas first inning - Clark Eagan singled and went to second on a ground out to shortstop Alex Bregman by Joe Serrano. Andrew Benintendi struck out. Eagan stopped at third on a single by Brian Anderson. When the catcher Moore made a poor throw to second base in an attempt to retire Anderson, Eagan scored. ARKANSAS 1, LSU 0
LSU second inning - With two out, Moore hit a solo home run over the rightfield fence. LSU 1, ARKANSAS 1
LSU third inning - With two out, Bregman doubled. Bregman scored on a single by Chris Chinea, who took second on the throw to the plate. Pinch-runner Jake Fraley scored on a single by Sean McMullen. LSU 3, ARKANSAS 1
LSU sixth inning - With one out, McMullen singled. McMullen moved to second on a ground out to the third baseman by Conner Hale. After Christian Ibarra walked, McMullen scored on a double by Moore. LSU 4, ARKANSAS 1
LSU seventh inning - With one out, Mark Laird singled and went to third on a single by Bregman. Laird scored on a foul sacrifice fly to the third baseman by Fraley when no one covered home plate. LSU 5, ARKANSAS 1
LSU eighth inning - With one out, Ibarra walked and Moore singled. A single by Kramer Robertson loaded the bases. After Andrew Stevenson flied out to the leftfielder, Ibarra and Moore scored on a single by Laird. LSU 7, ARKANSAS 1
Arkansas eighth inning - With one out, Eagan walked and Serrano singled. A single by Benintendi filled the bases. Eagan scored on a sacrifice fly to the leftfielder McMullen by Anderson. LSU 7, ARKANSAS 2
LSU WASTED SCORING OPPORTUNITIES
First inning - Laird walked and moved to second on a wild pitch by Collin Poche. Bregman flied out to the leftfielder. Chinea grounded out to the third baseman. McMullen struck out.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYER
Moore continued his solid hitting as he went 3-for-4 with a home run and two singles. Moore tied the score at 1-1 with a long home run - his fourth of the season - in the second inning. His two-out double in the sixth drove in a run which put LSU ahead 4-1. Moore singled and scored a run in the eighth. Moore is now 13-for-26 in his last seven starts. The three hits matched a season-high.
Once Nola escaped trouble in the first inning when Arkansas scored just one run, he was brilliant until he tired in the eighth inning. The Razorbacks put one runner on base from the second through the seventh innings - Benintendi on a single in the sixth. A throwing error by Moore allowed the Arkansas run to score. Nola then walked two batters, one intentionally, to load the bases. With two out, Nola retired Bobby Wernes on a ground ball to Bregman. Arkansas loaded the bases with one out in the eighth on a walk and singles by Serrano and Benintendi. Nola walked three and struck out seven. The victory was No. 29 of Nola's career. He is tied with Louis Coleman and Ben McDonald for eighth place on the school's all-time list.
Three relievers got the final five outs in support of Nola. Nate Fury entered the game with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth. The righthander Fury got the righthanded-hitting Anderson to hit a sacrifice fly to McMullen. With the lefthanded hitting Eric Fisher batting, Fury was replaced by southpaw Zac Person. Fisher also flied out to McMullen. Joe Broussard worked the ninth and retired three straight batters after issuing a leadoff walk. Broussard recorded two strikeouts.
Robertson got the start at second base - his first since the May 2 game at Texas A&M. Hale played first base with Moore the catcher. With a lefthanded pitcher starting, Chinea was the designated hitter. McMullen started in leftfield. . .Laird had two singles. He has five hits in the first two games of the SEC tournament. . .McMullen had his first multiple-hit game in nearly three weeks. McMullen, who singled twice, had his last multi-hit game on May 2 against Texas A&M. McMullen was 5-for-23 since that game against the Aggies. . .Bregman extended his hitting streak to six games with a double and a single. Bregman is 13-for-28 during the last six games. . .Hale now has a four-game hitting streak after getting a single in the ninth inning. . .Two Tigers starters didn't get a hit. Stevenson was 0-for-4 and Ibarra, who walked twice, was 0-for-3. . .LSU stranded eight runners, five in scoring position. The Tigers were 5-for-12 with runners in scoring position. . .LSU got five two-out hits which brought in runs - a homer in the second and a double in the fourth by Moore, singles by Chinea and McMullen in the third and a single by Laird in the eighth. . .Poche gave up three runs and four hits in 2.2 innings. . .The victory extended LSU's winning streak to six games. The Tigers have outscored their opponents 74-7 during those six games. . .The Tigers are 42-14-1. . .LSU has clinched a berth in the tournament semifinals for the fifth time in six tries with Paul Mainieri as coach. The Tigers won the tournament the previous four times they reached the semifinals. The last time LSU reached the semifinals and didn't win the tournament was in 2003. . .Arkansas is 37-22. The Razorbacks will play Ole Miss, which beat Vanderbilt 7-2 Thursday morning, in an elimination game Friday at 3 p.m.
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
"Obviously, it was a good win for the Tigers. Anytime you give the ball to Nola, you feel confident about your chances. He struggled through the first inning with limited damage. It could have been worse. We could have gotten ourselves in a pretty big hole, but Aaron pitched out of it like he typically does."
"I'm not used to (pitching coach Alan Dunn) coming out in the first inning. But, I got myself into a jam and I was behind in the counts. Arkansas was finding holes. After we got that run offensively, I improved."
"I wasn't really trying to make up for the error. I was just trying to get something going and it happened to be a home run."
LSU will play the winner of the Ole Miss-Arkansas game in the semifinals at noon Saturday. Kyle Bouman (4-2) will be starting pitcher for the Tigers. LSU's game against either Arkansas or Ole Miss will be broadcast on ESPNews.