LIVE UPDATES: Pair of Nation’s Top Transfer Pitchers Square Off in Game 2 of Arkansas vs LSU

Mason Molina, Arkansas baseball, Arkansas vs LSU
photo credit: Baumology

FAYETTEVILLE — Two of the top transfer pitchers in the country will square off in Game 2 of the Arkansas vs LSU series thanks to a couple of rotation tweaks.

The No. 1 Razorbacks moved left-hander Mason Molina up into the second slot in order to give right-hander Brady Tygart an extra day to “get right,” while the No. 8 Tigers opted to keep ace right-hander Luke Holman on Friday instead of sliding him up a day to start the opener because he threw more than 100 pitches last week.

That has set the stage for the former aces at Texas Tech and Alabama, respectively, to square off inside Baum-Walker Stadium at 7 p.m. CT Friday. Both of them are ranked among the top 20 starting pitchers in the country by D1Baseball and are considered to be two of the four best starters who changed teams via the transfer portal last season.

Holman is No. 4 overall and behind only Chase Burns (Tennessee to Wake Forest) among transfers on D1Baseball’s updated list this week. He is 5-1 with a 0.78 WHIP, 56 strikeouts and only eight walks in 34 2/3 innings this season. Opponents are hitting just .157 against him.

Molina is No. 19 overall and is ranked after Burns, Holman and AJ Causey (Jacksonville State to Tennessee) among transfers. He’s been a little bit more wild, as evidenced by his 15 walks in 28 innings, but he’s also proven to be hard to hit. To go along with 47 strikeouts and a 2.57 ERA, Molina is holding opponents to a .133 batting average.

With those two on the mound, runs could be at a premium Friday night. Follow along below for inning-by-inning updates from Game 2 of the Arkansas vs LSU series…

(READ NEXT: Check out our in-depth recap of Game 1, which the Razorbacks won 7-4 on Thursday)

LIVE UPDATES — Arkansas vs LSU (Game 2)

Pregame Tidbits

Dave Van Horn made a couple of tweaks to his starting lineup Friday, starting Ross Lovich in left field and Nolan Souza at designated hitter. He also flipped McLaughlin and Aloy in the 2 and 3 holes, as well as Diggs and Sprague-Lott in the cleanup and 5-hole spots.

T-1st: LSU 0, Arkansas 0

  • On the second pitch of the game, Bingham hit a single through the left side.
  • White followed with a chopper, but Sprague-Lott fielded it, threw to first and Stovall then threw to McLaughlin to complete the 5-4-3 double play. That was on the first pitch.
  • Jones looked at a pitch right down the middle for strike three and Molina had a little pep in his step as he jogged off the field. That was a seven-pitch inning.

B-1st: LSU 0, Arkansas 0

  • Stovall got a first-pitch fastball and smacked it to left-center for a leadoff double. It had an exit velocity of 106 mph.
  • McLaughlin followed with a line drive (99 mph exit velo), but it was right to the left fielder. 1 out.
  • Aloy went down swinging, chasing a pitch out of the zone. 2 outs.
  • Diggs grounded out to second to end the inning. Despite the leadoff double, Holman threw only 11 pitches.

T-2nd: LSU 0, Arkansas 0

  • Travinski actually made Molina work, but ended up hitting a pop up behind the plate that White caught. 1 out.
  • Pearson fouled off a couple of two-strike pitches and eventually worked the count full before drawing a walk.
  • Frey went down swinging. 2 outs.
  • Braswell got his bat on a pitch that may not have even been a strike in a 1-2 count and it blooped in for a single in right-center. That puts runners on the corners for LSU.
  • Kling chased a pitch for strike three, stranding runners on the corners. It was a 26-pitch inning by Molina, who is now at 33 through two innings.

B-2nd: LSU 0, Arkansas 0

  • Sprague-Lott drew a four-pitch walk to start the second inning.
  • Lovich swung through a fastball at the top of the zone for strike three. 1 out.
  • White hit a grounder to the left side and the shortstop got to it, but his throw to second was after Sprague-Lott slid in safely. It’s scored an infield single.
  • Souza followed with a slow roller. The shortstop fielded it on the other side of the bag and got the out at first, but it moved the runners to second and third. 2 outs.
  • Wilmsmeyer took a pitch that looked outside, but it was called a strike to end the inning. Holman has thrown 36 pitches through two innings.

T-3rd: LSU 2, Arkansas 0

  • Milam singled to left to start the third inning.
  • Bingham hit it hard, but right at Sprague-Lott at third. 1 out.
  • White followed with a single to right-center. Milam went first to third on the play, putting runners on the corners.
  • In a full count, Jones drew a walk to oad the bases.
  • Molina got Travinski to go down swinging. 2 outs.
  • Molina was one pitch away from getting out of the jam, but Pearson hit his 1-2 pitch into left to drive in two runs.
  • Frey struck out to end the inning.

B-3rd: LSU 2, Arkansas 0

  • For the third time tonight, Arkansas got its leadoff man on base thanks to a single by Stovall.
  • McLaughlin then walked in a full count to put runners on first and second.
  • Aloy looked at strike three. 1 out.
  • Diggs made good contact, but his line out was caught in center. Stovall tagged up to third on the play. 2 outs.
  • Sprague-Lott hit a grounder that the shortstop fielded and tossed to second for the force out.

T-4th: LSU 2, Arkansas 0

  • Braswell flied out to center. 1 out.
  • Kling crushed a 2-0 pitch with a 112 mph exit velocity, but right at Aloy for a line out. 2 outs.
  • Milam grounded out to second to give Molina a nice 1-2-3 inning on just 11 pitches.

B-4th: Arkansas 3, LSU 2

  • Lovich drew a four-pitch walk to start the inning.
  • White fell behind 0-2 before lining out to short. 1 out.
  • In a full count, Souza drew a walk to put a couple of runners on base.
  • Wilmsmeyer also fell behind 0-2, but after fouling off a pitch, hit a double down the right field line to get Arkansas on the board with an RBI. It also moved Souza to third.
  • Stovall just needed to put the ball in play to drive in a run and that’s just what he did, grounding out to short for an RBI that tied it up at 2-2. Wilmsmeyer moved to third on the play, too.
  • McLaughlin gave the Hogs the lead with an RBI double to right.
  • Aloy flied out to left to end the inning.

T-5th: Arkansas 3, LSU 2

  • Bingham grounded out to second. 1 out.
  • White struck out swinging. 2 outs.
  • Swinging at the first pitch, Jones singled to left, ending a stretch of six straight Tigers retired by Molina.
  • Molina bounced back by striking out Travinski, who looked at strike three.

B-5th: Arkansas 3, LSU 2

  • Diggs drew a leadoff walk, marking the fifth time Arkansas’ leadoff man reached.
  • Sprague-Lott went down swinging. 1 out. That’s it for Holman.
    • Now pitching for LSU: left-hander Griffin Herring.
  • Will Edmunson pinch hit for Lovich and struck out swinging. 2 outs.
  • In a full count, White also went down swinging. 3 outs.

T-6th: Arkansas 3, LSU 3

  • With Molina still on the mound, Pearson was hit by a pitch to start the sixth.
  • In a full count, Frey walked.
  • Braswell then hit a grounder that Stovall got to, but couldn’t do anything with it. The infield single loads the bases and that’s it for Molina.
    • Right-hander Christian Foutch is now pitching for Arkansas.
  • Ashton Larson pinch hit for Kling and got the job done with a sacrifice fly to left that tied it up 3-3. 1 out.
  • It could have been worse, but Foutch got Milam to ground into a 4-3 double play, with Stovall tagging the runner before throwing to first.

B-6th: Arkansas 3, LSU 3

  • For the first time tonight, Arkansas’ leadoff man was retired when Souza struck out swinging. 1 out.
  • Wilmsmeyer also went down swinging. 2 outs.
  • Stovall looked at strike three to end the inning. That’s six straight strikeouts by LSU pitching.

T-7th: Arkansas 3, LSU 3

  • Bingham struck out swinging. 1 out.
  • White grounded out to first. 2 outs.
  • Jones grounded out to shortstop to end the inning. Quick work by Foutch, who needed only six pitches.

B-7th: Arkansas 3, LSU 3

  • McLaughlin went down swinging to make it seven straight strikeouts for the Tigers. 1 out.
  • Aloy ended the streak with a single to left.
  • Diggs followed with a single up the middle. Aloy went first to third on the play, putting runners on the corners.
  • Arkansas dialed up a squeeze and Sprague-Lott laid the bunt down, but the first baseman charged in and made a great play to toss the ball to the catcher to tag out Aloy trying to score. 2 outs.
  • Edmunson grounded out to short to end the inning.

T-8th: Arkansas 3, LSU 3

  • Right-hander Gabe Gaeckle is in to pitch for Arkansas.
  • He promptly struck out Travinski on three pitches. He looked at strike three. 1 out.
  • Pearson grounded out to second. 2 outs.
  • Frey hit a ball back up the middle that Gaeckle got a glove on. It looked like that may lead to him reaching on an infield single, but Stovall got to it and managed to make a diving toss to first for the out. Tremendous play.

B-8th: Arkansas 3, LSU 3

  • White lined out to center. 1 out.
  • Souza looked at strike three. 2 outs.
  • Wilmsmeyer battled, but struck out swinging on the eighth pitch of the at bat.

T-9th: Arkansas 3, LSU 3

  • In a full count, Braswell flied out to center to start the inning. 1 out.
  • Larson went down swinging. 2 outs.
  • With two outs, Milam extended the inning with a single to right.
  • Bingham followed with a grounder to third and the Hogs got the force at second to end the inning.

B-9th: Arkansas 3, LSU 3

  • Stovall led off the ninth with a line drive off the wall in the left for a double.
  • McLaughlin flied out to left. 1 out.
  • It looked like Aloy might have ended it, but his line drive was caught by the left fielder, who was shaded that direction. Stovall had to race back to second to avoid getting doubled up. 2 outs.
  • Diggs hit a grounder up the middle that also looked like it might end it, but LSU was once again positioned perfectly and the shortstop threw him out at first with the help of his first baseman going up and getting a high throw.

T-10th: Arkansas 3, LSU 3

  • White grounds out to short. 1 out.
  • In a full count, Jones ripped a single through the left side, just under a diving Sprague-Lott.
  • Travinski fouled off several two-strike pitches before swinging through a fastball for a strikeout. 2 outs. That’s it for Gaeckle, who receives a well-deserved standing ovation.
    • Now pitching for the Hogs is left-hander Stone Hewlett, their left-on-left specialist.
  • He got Pearson to look at strike three to end the inning.

B-10th: Arkansas 4, LSU 3

  • Right-hander Thatcher Hurd is now pitching for LSU. He had been a starter for the Tigers, but has struggled to a 7-plus ERA.
  • Sprague-Lott fouled off a couple of two-strike pitches before striking out swinging. 1 out.
  • Edmunson hit a slow chopper to short and it got under the shortstop’s glove for an E6.
  • The error comes back to haunt the Tigers, as White ripped a double to the left field corner to score Edmunson from left. It had a 103 mph exit velocity.

FINAL – Arkansas 4, LSU 3 (10 innings)

Starting Lineups

LSU BaseballArkansas Baseball
1. Mac Bingham – LF1. Peyton Stovall – 2B
2. Tommy White – 3B2. Ben McLaughlin – 1B
3. Jared Jones – 1B3. Wehiwa Aloy – SS
4. Hayden Travinski – C4. Kendall Diggs – RF
5. Josh Pearson – RF5. Jared Sprague-Lott – 3B
6. Ethan Frey – DH6. Ross Lovich – LF
7. Michael Braswell III – SS7. Hudson White – C
8. Paxton Kling – CF8. Nolan Souza – DH
9. Steven Milam – 2B9. Ty Wilmsmeyer – CF
Pitching: RHP Luke HolmanPitching: LHP Hagen Smith

How to Watch Arkansas vs LSU (Game 2)

Date: Friday, March 29

First Pitch: 7 p.m. CT

Location: Baum-Walker Stadium (Fayetteville, Ark.)

TV/Stream: SEC Network


More coverage of Arkansas baseball from BoAS…

Facebook Comments