LSU splits doubleheader with Arkansas

Auburn

By Bill Franques

BATON ROUGE, La. – Senior right-hander Ma’Khail Hilliard limited top-ranked Arkansas to one run through five innings Saturday night to lead LSU to a 5-4 win over the Razorbacks in the second game of a doubleheader in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

Arkansas posted a 17-10 win in Game 1 before the Tigers rebounded to take the nightcap.

LSU is 26-17 overall and 7-14 in the SEC, while Arkansas is 34-8 overall and 15-6 in conference play.

LSU is scheduled to return to action at 6:30 p.m. CT Tuesday when the Tigers play host to Southern in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The game will be streamed on SEC Network +, and it may be heard on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.

Hilliard (4-0), making his first start in an SEC game since 2018, allowed just one run on two hits in five innings with three walks and three strikeouts. He fired 79 pitches, 51 for strikes.

Freshman right-hander Garrett Edwards was brilliant in relief, recording three scoreless innings and allowing just one hit with no walks and two strikeouts.

Senior right-hander Devin Fontenot was touched for three runs in the ninth inning, but he struck out Arkansas leftfielder Zack Gregory with a runner at first base to end the game.

“It was a great ball game, and atmosphere in the stadium was tremendous,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “I can’t say enough about the fans and the way they inspire our players. It’s such a wonderful experience to be in our stadium when our fans create that type of electricity.

“Ma’Khail was tremendous tonight. He was outstanding, giving up just two hits over five innings against the No. 1 team in the nation. He really dominated the game and pitched so well. A lot of their outs were not really hit that hard.”

LSU grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first inning of nightcap when third baseman Cade Doughty launched a three-run homer for his 10th dinger of the year.

Rightfielder Dylan Crews delivered an RBI single in the second inning, and centerfielder Drew Bianco sacrificed a run home from third base in the third inning to give the Tigers a 5-0 advantage.

Arkansas starter Lael Lockhart (1-2) was charged with the loss, as he surrendered three runs on two hits in 0.1 inning with one walk and no strikeouts.

The Razorbacks pounded out 19 hits to earn the win in the first game of the twin bill. Centerfielder Christian Franklin and second baseman Robert Moore each contributed four RBI for Arkansas.

Ryan Costeiu (6-1), the second of four Arkansas pitchers, was credited with the win as he allowed one run on two hits in two innings with one walks and three strikeouts.

LSU starter AJ Labas (3-1) was charged with the Game 1 loss, as he allowed nine runs on 10 hits in four innings with one walk and three strikeouts.