LSU?s Hollander Hits Walk-Off Home Run to Beat Diamond Hogs 7-6
BATON ROUGE, La. – Michael Hollander’s ninth-inning walk-off home run gave LSU a 7-6 win in front of 2,884 fans at Alex Box Stadium on Friday night.
The loss drops the Razorbacks to 30-13 on the season and 10-9 in Southeastern Conference play. It is the fourth straight win for LSU over Arkansas as the Tigers improve to 28-16 and 7-12 in league play. Nick Schmidt got a no decision after allowing a career-high six earned runs on four hits. He tied his career high with five walks and struck out six.
Jonathan Wilhite earned the win out of the bullpen, allowing a run on two hits in 1.1 innings. Clay Dirks started and worked 7.2 innings, allowing five runs on nine hits. He struck out four and walked two.
Devin Collis took the loss to fall to 5-1 on the season. He allowed one run on four hits in two innings of work.
Things unraveled for Schmidt in the seventh inning as he sandwiched a single by Jarred Bogany between two walks before pinch-hitter Robert Lara singled home a run. That would be the end of Schmidt’s night as Daryl Maday came on with one out and the bases loaded and walked home the Tigers’ fourth run of the night on four pitches to tie the game. Schmidt had allowed just two hits going into the seventh inning.
The walk would end Maday’s night in favor of left-hander Devin Collis to face left-handed Bruce Sprowl. Sprowl then flared in the Tigers’ second hit of the inning to put LSU on top 5-4. Quinn Stewart then hit into a fielder’s choice to score LSU’s sixth run.
The Hogs battled back with a run in the eighth inning on Danny Hamblin’s looping-RBI single to right-center field. Hamblin is tied with Kentucky’s Ryan Strieby for the SEC lead in RBI with 56.
Freshman James Ewing, making his first start since March 19, then singled home the game-tying run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning. He went 3-for-4 with a double, a RBI and a walk.
It only took two batters for the Razorbacks to snap their 23-inning scoreless streak against the Tigers. Jake Dugger took care of that business with a lined shot off the ‘Intimidator’ billboard in right field boasting LSU’s five national championships. It was Dugger’s career-high ninth home run of the season and staked Arkansas to an early 1-0 lead.
It didn’t take LSU long to answer as a lead-off walk to Hollander came around to score on a mammoth home run to left field by T.J. Wise on a 3-1 fastball. The Tigers ended the first inning with a 2-1 lead.
Schmidt retired 10 straight Tigers following Wise’s home run. He walked a batter in the fifth inning and then allowed his second hit of the night with two outs in the sixth inning when the SEC’s leading home run man, Quinn Stewart, singled sharply up the middle.
Matt Willard put the Hogs back on top in the top of the fifth inning with a two-run home run down the left-field line. The shot just managed to stay fair for his second home run of the season and gave UA a 3-2 lead.
The Hogs extended the lead to 4-2 on Blake Parker’s steal of home in the seventh inning. Parker had doubled to lead off the inning and moved to third base on a perfect sacrifice bunt by Brian Walker. With a 0-1 count on Willard, Parker broke from third base and LSU catcher Matt Luizza couldn’t handle curve ball in the dirt.
The Razorbacks will look to even the series at 2 p.m. Saturday from Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.