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Hogs Play Tigers For Chance At SEC Trophy

Hog and Tigers battle for chance to play for SEC Championship
HOOVER, Ala. – The No. 15 Arkansas baseball team looks to advance to the championship game of the SEC Tournament for the first time since 2007 on Saturday when it faces No. 2 LSU in the semifinals. Game time is scheduled for 12 p.m.

Saturday’s game will be televised by ESPNEWS and will also be available on Cox Sports Television and ESPN3. The game will also be available on the Razorback Baseball Radio Network from IMG. Three-time Arkansas Sportscaster of the Year Chuck Barrett will have the call. A live blog and live stats for each game of the tournament will be available on ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also follow updates of each game on @RazorbackBSB, the official Twitter account of the Razorback baseball team.

Arkansas is 37-19 on the season after picking up victories in its first two SEC Tournament games. The Razorbacks advanced to the semifinals with a 4-1 victory over No. 2 LSU on Thursday evening. Ryne Stanek allowed one unearned run in eight innings to earn the victory on the mound, while Colby Suggs tied the UA single-season record for saves with his 12th of the season, throwing a perfect ninth inning. Offensively, the Razorbacks had 12 hits against the Tigers, led by Tyler Spoon and Matt Vinson, who each had three hits and a RBI. Joe Serrano went 2-for-5 with two RBI. Over its first two SEC Tournament games, the Arkansas offense has pounded out 23 hits for a .307 batting average.

The Razorbacks are hitting .263 as a team entering Saturday’s game. Brian Anderson leads Arkansas offensively with a .345 batting average, four homers and 33 RBI. Anderson has reached base safely in 17 straight games entering Saturday’s contest. Vinson has raised his batting average to .303 and has two homers and 23 RBI. Vinson is 6-for-10 with a RBI and two runs scored in the SEC Tournament. Tyler Spoon leads the Razorbacks with 45 RBI and is hitting .288 with four homers. Joe Serrano is batting .287 with a home run and 18 RBI.

The Razorback pitching staff leads the country with a team ERA of 1.85. Senior southpaw Randall Fant will make the start for Arkansas on Saturday. Fant has started 12 games on the season and has a 5-1 record with a 2.08 ERA. Fant finished the regular season ranked ninth in the SEC in ERA and sixth in opponent batting average (.202).

The Arkansas bullpen has compiled an 11-7 record with 18 saves and a 1.73 ERA. Jalen Beeks has pitched in a team-leading 26 games and has a 6-1 record with two saves and a 1.70 ERA. Colby Suggs leads the team with 12 saves, which ties the Arkansas record for saves in a single season, and has a 1.93 ERA in 21 appearances. Brandon Moore has pitched in 21 games and has a 1-3 mark with a 2.47 ERA. Trent Daniel has seen time in 20 games and is 0-1 with one save and a 2.35 ERA. Michael Gunn has pitched in 15 games and has a 1-0 record with one save and has only allowed one run in 25.1 innings.

LSU enters the semifinals of the SEC Tournament with a 50-9 overall record. The Tigers advanced to the semis with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Alabama on Friday afternoon.

The Tigers are hitting .310 as a team and are paced offensively by Mason Katz, who is hitting .392 with a team-best 14 homers and 64 RBI. Alex Bregman is hitting .385 with five homers and 49 RBI, while Raph Rhymes has a .336 batting average with four homers and 43 RBI. Sean McMullen and Christian Ibarra are each batting .326. McMullen has two homers and 27 RBI, while Ibarra has six round-trippers and 35 RBI.

LSU’s pitching staff has a team ERA of 2.50. The Tigers will send freshman right hander Hunter Newman to the mound on Saturday. Newman has pitched in 11 games, two as a starter, and has a 2-0 record with a 2.18 ERA.

Out of the bullpen, Chris Cotton is tied for the team lead with 31 appearances and has a team-best 14 saves and a 3-1 record with a 1.53 ERA. Joey Bourgeois has also pitched in 31 games and is 3-2 with a 2.51 ERA. Nick Rumbelow has seen time in 27 games, 26 in relief, and is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA. Kevin Berry, Brent Bonvillain and Nate Fury have each pitched in 18 games. Berry is 4-1 with a 2.35 ERA, Bonvillain is 2-0 with a 2.97 ERA and Fury is 2-1 with a 3.24 ERA.

Arkansas trails the all-time series against LSU 56-28. The Razorbacks and Tigers have played eight times in the SEC Tournament with LSU winning five of the eight meetings. The two teams have split the first four meetings this season with LSU winning two of three games in the regular season and Arkansas claiming a 4-1 win on Thursday in the SEC Tournament.
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