Arkansas and LSU, the best rivalry in SEC baseball, are expected to get a fourth shot at each other this year. The Razorbacks and Tigers are likely to meet Saturday afternoon in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament, barring a miraculous comeback by Florida, which trailed LSU 10-0 through six innings on Friday night when the game was suspended because of fog.
LSU won the series against Arkansas in the regular season, two games to one. But that was in Baton Rouge. Saturday will be in Hoover, Ala., a neutral site. Arkansas has had far more success in neutral-site games and considering the Diamond Hogs were the better team over the rest of the season, their shot at a championship is more than realistic.
Arkansas baseball vs. TBA game information
- Saturday, May 26, 2018 — 3:30 p.m. CT (approximately)
How can I watch?
The game can be seen on SEC Network and WatchESPN.
Who is calling the Arkansas games?
Phil Elson and Bubba Carpenter will provide the radio broadcasts on the Razorback Sports Network on IMG for radio, per usual.
Either the SEC Championship or the Fayetteville Regional. It depends on what happens over the weekend.
Only one team in college baseball had beaten Florida, the top-ranked team in the nation, more than once this season. Mississippi State did it in the final weekend of the regular season as the No. 1 Gators were in cruise control with the SEC regular-season title already secure.
When the SEC Tournament began this week, though, Florida was back in the zone, ready to win again.
Yeah, about that.
The Razorbacks booked a spot in the SEC Tournament semifinals, beating Florida 8-2 just after lunchtime in Hoover, Ala. Arkansas is 2-2 against the No. 1 team in the country this year and will find out on Saturday morning who it will play in the semifinals.
Most important, Arkansas’ victory against the Gators on Friday almost assuredly clinched a top-8 national seed for the NCAA Tournament. That means Arkansas would host the Fayetteville Regional at Baum Stadium, and, if it advances, would host Super Regionals in Fayetteville, too. That is significant for the team with the best home record in the country.
Arkansas put itself in that position with multiple heroes on Friday. Casey Martin’s 2-run home run in the second started the scoring. Blaine Knight kept Florida at bay en route to earning the win. Dominic Fletcher’s glove and arm put out a small fire, as he threw out a runner at third on an inning-ending double play in the third inning.
Whenever the Diamond Hogs needed something done, someone figured out a way to do it.
The biggest assist came from the most unlikely of heroes.
Hunter Wilson is the sort of player, as Arkansas play-by-play guy Phil Elson says, teammates celebrate when he hits a home run in batting practice. When the shot comes with the bases loaded in the ninth-inning against Florida, you may as well throw a party in the dugout.
Wilson’s grand slam boosted Arkansas’ 2-run lead to 6 and left the Gators just three outs to recover. No chance. Matt Cronin sat them down 1-2-3, all on strikeouts.
Martin’s second-inning home run was massive in multiple ways. The ball came off his bat and flew out of the Hoover Met. It was a no-doubter. The home run was his 13th of the season, tying the Arkansas freshman record set by Zack Cox in 2008.
After that, Knight went to work. He went six innings and gave up just 4 hits against the top-ranked Gators. He wasn’t brilliant, registering 3 walks and striking out 4, but it was efficient and enough for his offense to damage.