No. 24 Arkansas Rolls Past No. 8 LSU in Series Finale
BATON ROUGE, La. - The No. 24 Arkansas baseball team (22-15, 7-8 SEC) used a career day at the plate from Freshman Blake Baxendale and cruised to a 10-4 victory over No. 8 LSU (27-9-1, 8-6-1) Sunday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium.
Baxendale carried the team at the plate with a grand slam in the first inning for his first career home run, before adding a run-scoring double in the fifth inning for a career-high five RBI day.
The Razorbacks jumped all over the Tigers in the first inning, as a pair of hits and a walk loaded the bases for Baxendale who crushed a grand slam down the left field line on the second pitch of the at bat. The grand slam was the second of the year for Arkansas and gave the Razorbacks a 4-0 first-inning lead.
After LSU cut the lead in half in the second inning, the Arkansas bats would not be denied, manufacturing a run in the fourth inning and breaking out with four more in the fifth. Baxendale was again center stage in the rally, lining a double down the left field for his career-high fifth RBI of the game, before Eric Fisher continued his torrid stretch with his third home run in as many games to give the Razorbacks a 9-2 lead.
LSU pushed across single runs in the sixth and seventh innings, before Arkansas reached double digits in the run column when Andrew Benintendi lifted a sacrifice fly to centerfield to send Bobby Wernes home and give the Razorbacks a 10-4 victory.
Chris Oliver (4-3) earned his third win in his last four starts, throwing 7.0 innings and giving up four runs on four hits, while walking seven and striking out one. Zach Jackson came on in relief and worked 2.0 perfect innings with two strikeouts to close the deal.
Arkansas returns home Tuesday evening to host Stephen F. Austin for the first of nine straight games at Baum Stadium. First pitch against the Lumberjacks is set for 6:35 p.m.
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· The Razorbacks have won at least one game in 22 straight SEC series dating back to the 2012 season, currently the second-longest streak in the league behind Vanderbilt at 24.
· Blake Baxendale's grand slam in the first inning was his first career home run and Arkansas' second grand slam of the season.
· Eric Fisher's two-run blast in the fifth inning gave him a home run in each of the last three games and a team-high five home runs on the year.
· After hitting nine home runs through the first 23 games, Arkansas has hit seven home runs in the last five games.
· Arkansas improves to 9-2 when scoring in the first inning and 20-3 when scoring before the opponent.
· The 10 runs scored by Arkansas is the most in any SEC game this season.
· Brian Anderson singled to left field to lead off the ninth inning to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. He has hit safely in 32 of 37 games this season.
How They Scored
· Arkansas 4, LSU 0; Top 1: Blake Baxendale homered down the left field line; Tyler Spoon scored from third base, Andrew Benintendi scored from second base, Joe Serrano scored from first base.
· Arkansas 4, LSU 2; Bottom 2: Jake Fraley singled up the middle; Tyler Moore scored from third base, Andrew Stevenson scored from second base.
· Arkansas 5, LSU 2; Top 4: Jake Wise reached on a fielder's choice; Eric Fisher scored from third base.
· Arkansas 6, LSU 2; Top 5: Brian Anderson flied out to right field; Benintendi scored from third base.
· Arkansas 7, LSU 2; Top 5: Blake Baxendale doubled down the right field line; Joe Serrano scored from third base.
· Arkansas 9, LSU 2; Top 5: Eric Fisher homered to right field; Blake Baxendale scored from second base.
· Arkansas 9, LSU 3; Bottom 6: Andrew Stevenson flied out to left field; Tyler Moore scored from third base.
· Arkansas 9, LSU 4; Bottom 7: Kade Scivicque singled up the middle; Sean McMullen scored from second base.
· Arkansas 10, LSU 4; Top 8: Andrew Benintendi flied out to centerfield; Bobby Wernes scored from third base.