LSU Beats Arkansas 4-2, Wins SEC Tournament



LSU freshman Eric Walker tossed 7.2 innings of one run, eight strikeout baseball as the Tigers defeated Arkansas 4-2 and won their 6th SEC tournament championship in 10 seasons. Spanberger hit a solo homer in the first inning, a two-run shot in the third and a grand slam in the fourth.

Florida managed only two hits off Razorbacks' starter Kacey Murphy, a double in the third inning from Jonathan India and infield single from Austin Langworthy in the sixth inning.

The 16 runs scored in Saturday's win over Florida is the most by Arkansas in a game in its tournament history. Seniors Dominic Taccolini and Josh Alberius along with freshman Matt Cronin threw the seven inning no-hitter striking out seven while walking seven and hitting one batter.

And if that wasn't bad enough, there's this: The Tigers didn't record a hit against three Arkansas in the seven-inning contest, marking the first time in program history they have been no-hit in a game. LSU coach Paul Mainieri opted to intentionally walked the hot-hitting Chad Spanberger which moved the tying run into scoring position and put the winning run on base. LSU's Kramer Robertson, who hit 7 for 17 (.412) with 2 home runs, was the selection at shortstop.

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Jax Biggers, who came to the ballpark leading the Razorbacks (40-15) with a.335 batting average became the first player in 17 years with two triples in a game. Zach Watson added a two-run triple.

Auburn would threaten throughout the game, drawing seven walks and putting nine runners on base.

Arkansas broke on top in the bottom of the third inning, and the Hogs did it in the way they've plated many of their runs in Hoover this week, via the long ball.

It's the second tournament semifinals appearance for the Razorbacks in the last four years and first since 2014. "But it wasn't just me; it was great pitching that also helped us play great today".

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Spanberger's prodigious home runs have been the rage in Hoover this week. LSU made a decision to intentionally walk the hard-hitting first baseman to load the bases for Bonfield.

"I thought we dug such a deep, deep hole and that was about as complete a ballgame as I've seen against us in my time here", Auburn coach Butch Thompson said. He has a 4.04 ERA in 78 innings, and he has allowed a team-high 11 home runs. He drove in two runs and scored three.

The fourth-seeded Razorbacks will face SEC Western Division rival and two-seed LSU on Sunday for the SEC Tournament championship.

Auburn has been eliminated from SEC Tournament play, and will now wait until Monday to find out where they will travel to participate in a NCAA Tournament Regional.

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Spanberger now has 19 home runs on the year, good for a tie for second in the SEC and the most by a Razorback since Andrew Benintendi hit 20 in the 2015 season.

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