LSU Holds Off Arkansas For SEC Championship
HOOVER, ALA (KFSM)- LSU cooled off Arkansas’ hot streak Sunday winning 4-2, claiming the 2017 SEC baseball championship. For the Tigers, it was their 12th SEC tournament title.
Starting pitcher Eric Walker nearly shut down Arkansas’ powerful lineup. The freshman pitcher surrendered one run, a solo home run, on five hits in 7.2 innings striking out eight batters and walking one. Walker also handled the Razorbacks’ big hitter Chad Spanberger to just 0-for-3 at the plate with one walk.
The Tigers’ offense started rolling in the fourth inning with three hits and a walk, bringing three runs home. Nick Coomes, Josh Smith and Bryce Jordan drove in one apiece for the Tigers.
Eric Cole helped Arkansas get on the board first with a solo home run in the third inning, but the lead was short-lived. LSU went on to plate three runs in the fourth to grab a commanding lead. Cole would account for Arkansas’ two runs on the day, in the ninth, his RBI single brought in Grant Koch. Chad Spanberger was at the plate next with two on, but the Tigers intentionally walked Spanberger to end any late rally chances. The Diamond Hogs were only able to muster two runs off seven hits.
“I thought it ended up being a good game at the end,” said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. “It was one that we felt from our side that we let a couple of opportunities slip away. We had 10 runners left on base and LSU had three. They put together the three-run inning and we gave them a couple of runs there by not making a play on the ground ball.”
Luke Bonfield, Chad Spanberger, and sophomore pitcher Kacey Murphy were all named to the SEC All-Tournament team. Spanberger’s performance over the course of the tournament landed him Most Valuable Player honors. Spanberger finished the tournament as the leader in RBIs (10), doubles (3), home runs (5), and total bases (26).
The NCAA will announce the 16 regional host sites tonight at 7:30 p.m. CT. They will announce the eight national seeds and the rest of the field of 64 Monday on ESPN2 around 11:00 a.m.