FAYETTEVILLE — The Arkansas baseball team couldn’t take advantage of LSU ace Austin Nola’s slow start and it led to a 7-2 loss in the SEC Tournament.
The loss dropped the Razorbacks (37-22), who won their first two games at the SEC Tournament, into an elimination game against Ole Miss today at 3 p.m. Arkansas is 2-2 against the Rebels this season, including a 2-1 win on Wednesday.
Arkansas — which was facing Nola (10-1) for the second time this season — took an early 1-0 lead thanks to singles by Clark Eagan and Brian Anderson in the first inning. The Razorbacks had a chance to score more in the first inning, too, after Nola walked two batters to load the bases. But Nola got third baseman Bobby Wernes to ground out to end the threat and the Tigers quickly seized control of the game.
LSU (42-14-1) got a two-out solo home run in the second inning by catcher Tyler Moore to tie the game and added two more in the third to take the lead. The Tigers eventually scored seven two-out runs to snap Arkansas’ five-game win streak.
The Razorbacks stranded six runners, including two in the eighth inning after loading the bases with one out and scoring on a sacrifice fly for the final run.
Colin Poché (3-1) allowed three runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings. Reliever Landon Simpson came out of the bullpen to retire eight batters and threw 4 1/3 innings in relief. Simpson allowed four hits and two runs, while striking out four.
Arkansas will start right-hander Dominic Taccolini against Ole Miss today, while the Rebels will start right-hander Sam Smith. The winner will advance to the SEC Tournament semifinals to face LSU on Saturday.
“It was a tough loss for us,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “We knew runs would be hard to come by facing Aaron Nola. We had an opportunity in the first, got a sacrifice fly from Brian. He hit the ball really hard there. You just don’t get too many shots at (Nola). We have another day. We will see what happens.”
2014 SEC Tournament Schedule
Tuesday, May 20
Game 1 #6 Vanderbilt 3, #11 Tennessee 2 (Tennessee eliminated)
Game 2 #7 Arkansas 4, #10 Texas A&M 0 (Texas A&M eliminated)
Game 3 #9 Kentucky 7, #8 Alabama 1 (Alabama eliminated)
Game 4 #5 Mississippi State 5, #12 Georgia 4 (10 innings) (Georgia eliminated)
Wednesday, May 21
Game 5 #3 LSU 11, #6 Vanderbilt 1
Game 6 #7 Arkansas 2, #2 Ole Miss 1
Game 7 #9 Kentucky 4, #1 Florida 2
Game 8 #5 Mississippi State 12, #4 South Carolina 0
Thursday, May 22
Game 9 #2 Ole Miss 7, #6 Vanderbilt 2 (Vanderbilt eliminated)
Game 10 #1 Florida 7, #4 South Carolina 2 (South Carolina eliminated)
Game 11 #3 LSU 7, #7 Arkansas 2
Game 12 #9 Kentucky 7, #5 Mississippi State 6 (12 innings)
Friday, May 23
Game 13 3:00 p.m. #2 Ole Miss vs. #7 Arkansas [CSS]
Game 14 TBD #1 Florida vs. #5 Mississippi State [CSS]
Saturday, May 24
Game 15 Noon Winner Game 13 vs. #3 LSU [ESPNEWS]
Game 16 TBD Winner Game 14 vs. #9 Kentucky [ESPNEWS]
Sunday, May 25
Game 17 3:30 p.m. Winner Game 15 vs. Winner Game 16 [ESPN2]