The rally possum would be proud.
LSU baseball overcame an 8-1 seventh inning deficit with eight runs in the last two innings to defeat Arkansas 10-8 Saturday night. The win pushed LSU (21-11, 6-5 SEC) back over .500 in SEC play and set up the Tigers with a chance to win an SEC series for the first time in three weeks.
LSU’s rally began in the seventh inning when freshman Josh Smith doubled a run in, trimming Arkansas’ lead to 8-2. But the Tigers’ offense really broke out in the eighth, when a Cole Freeman fielder’s choice and a Greg Deichmann two-run home run cut the deficit to 8-5.
In the ninth inning, LSU loaded the bases off a hit-by-pitch, a walk and a single, before Freeman earned an RBI the hard way, taking a pitch to the head. A wild pitch scored another run to make it a one-score game before shortstop Kramer Robertson gave LSU the lead with a groundball that forced a two-run throwing error.
Deichmann added another insurance run by forcing another fielding error, plating LSU’s 10th run of the game.
LSU fell behind early in the unlikeliest of fashions. Senior starting pitcher Jared Poché, who came into the game with a 1.15 ERA, was shelled, allowing seven earned runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings pitched, walking and striking out two. Poché’s struggles weren’t matched with LSU offense, as the Tigers fell behind 7-1 with the senior on the mound, and 8-1 after his departure.
The LSU bullpen made up for Poché’s rough night, allowing just one run in the next 4.2 innings pitched after Poché’s departure. Freshman Todd Peterson looked the most impressive, tossing two shutout innings with just one hit allowed.
After those 4.2 innings, LSU sent in closer Hunter Newman, who coming into the day had allowed just one earned run in 9.2 innings on the year. Newman allowed the first two Razorbacks he faced to reach, then loaded the bases on an intentional walk after recording two quick popouts.
But Newman shoved, stranding three Razorbacks on the basepaths and securing a save – and potentially a season-changing win – for the Tigers.
What’s next for LSU baseball?
The Tigers may have lost the series, but they’ll try to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon when they take on the Razorbacks for the third game of the series. Sunday’s game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. CT and will be streamed at WatchESPN. Freshman Eric Walker (3-0, 3.03 ERA) will start on the mound for LSU.