Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST) | TigerDroppings.com

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AstroTiger
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Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)


Arkansas Razorbacks vs. #11 LSU Fighting Tigers at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field



The LSU Fighting Tigers (25-8-1, 6-5-1) welcome the Arkansas Razorbacks to The Box this weekend to mark the halfway point of the SEC schedule. The Tigers try to keep the momentum going after a sweep of Mississippi State last weekend and a 5-0 win over Lamar on Wednesday. The victory over Lamar marked the 11th shutout by LSU this season, breaking the record previously held by the 1996 staff. The Tigers have won 5 straight after going 0-4-1 in the previous 5 games. Arkansas (23-13, 6-6) is coming off of a series win over #2 South Carolina and a midweek split with UNLV. They have won both SEC series at home and lost both that were on the road. LSU leads the all time series over Arkansas 57-28, including wins in 9 of the last 12 played in Baton Rouge and 10-29 all time. LSU and Arkansas are 1.5 and 2 games, respectively, behind Alabama for the overall lead in the SEC.

Friday night’s game will start at 7:00pm and be broadcast on CST. Saturday’s game will also be televised, but this time on ESPN2 and first pitch is at 12 noon. The first pitch on Sunday is at 1:00pm and will be televised once again on CST. All 3 games this weekend will be broadcast on ESPN3.com with blackouts in force in the CST network on Friday and Sunday. Saturday’s game will be on ESPN3/WatchESPN nationally without blackouts.



Arkansas Razorbacks
Record: 21-13
Conference: 6-6, t-4th SEC west
Non-Conf: 15-7
Home: 17-6
Away: 2-6
Neutral: 2-1

Record vs. RPI: (LSU numbers in parentheses)
Team RPI: 78 (20)
vs Top 25: 6-5 (1-6)
vs Top 50: 8-8 (6-6)
vs Top 100: 8-11 (9-6)


Team Overview:
Arkansas is under the leadership of head coach Dave Van Horn in his 12th season. The Razorbacks have been to a regional every one of the 10 seasons under Van Horn and made the College World Series 3 times falling one game short of the championship series in both 2009 and ’12. The 2014 team lost a lot of leadership from a pitching standpoint including all 3 weekend starters from last year, the biggest being first round draft pick Ryan Stanek. The pitching has been impressive, but the offense is weak again outside of a couple guys. Some young guys have filled in very effectively and Arkansas is on track for another nice season.


Team Stat Comparison (LSU in parentheses)
Runs/game scored: 5.0 (6.1)
Runs/game allowed: 2.9 (2.4)

Team ERA: 2.30 (2.13)
Opponent ERA: 4.87 (5.08)

Team BA: .259 (.275)
Opponent BA: .206 (.206)

Team Fielding %: .970 (.978)
Opponent Fielding %: .974 (.966)

Good OOC wins: Nebraska (1-1), UNLV (1-1)
Bad OOC losses: None

SEC Series Wins: vs Alabama (2-1), vs South Carolina (2-1)
SEC Series Losses: @ Florida (1-2), @ Mississippi State (1-2)

Common OOC Opponents:
South Alabama: 1-2 (LSU 1-0)
Tulane: 1-0 (LSU 0-1)
Grambling: 2-0 (LSU 1-0)


Starting Pitching:
Arkansas has been one of a few teams with some consistency among its starting rotation, which is a miracle considering they lost all of the weekend starters from last year’s team. The 3 weekend starters have been outstanding in 2014 combining for a 1.83 ERA in 137 innings with 4 complete games among them. As for Friday night, Van Horn is playing strategy and holding out Jalen Beeks, the staff ace, to pitch on Saturday. Instead, Trey Killian will make the start on Friday with the unfortunate task of facing off against Aaron Nola. Killian wasn’t available to play the first two weekends of the season due to suspension, but jumped right into the starter role the 3rd series. His record as a starter is just 1-5, but that mark includes a few tough luck losses which is indicated by his 2.70 ERA. He has taken 1-0 and 2-1 losses against Florida and South Carolina, respectively. He also threw a complete game 4 hitter against Alabama allowing 1 run, recording his only win. The right handed Killian throws a fastball from 90-92mph. He will also feature a plus changeup in the upper 70s with good sinking action as well as a breaking pitch that sits in the low 80s and has a sliding motion.

Saturday will feature a shouthpaw showdown between Arky junior ace Jalen Beeks and LSU freshman Jared Poché. Jalen Beeks lead the team with 29 appearances last year all in relief. His first career start was the season opener in February. This year, Beeks has the second lowest ERA among starters in the SEC behind only Nola. Beeks struggled in his first two SEC starts, but has really come on strong. The last two outings at Mississippi State and vs South Carolina, Beeks did not allow an earned run in 17 innings of work. His fastball works in the low 90s from the left side and a he will back door a nice curve.

On Sunday, Chris Oliver will face off against Kyle Bouman for LSU. Oliver is a big 6’4 right handed junior, who was drafted in the 27th round out of high school. He is also spending his first year as a full time starter, getting 1 start in each of his freshman and sophomore seasons. His velocity has improved tremendously since then and will be a pro prospect again this summer. Oliver’s fastball sits 92-95 and has been clocked as high as 97. He also will throw a very good power slider in the mid-80’s. LSU has not officially announced Bouman as the starter on Sunday, but we should see him back in that slot after a successful outing last week following the ankle injury.


Friday's Pitching Matchup:
So. RHP Trey Killian (1-5, 2.70 ERA, 40.0 IP, 33 H, 12 ER, 6 BB, 22 K, .231 OBA)
Jr. RHP Aaron Nola (6-1, 0.47 ERA, 57.0 IP, 27 H, 3 ER, 11 BB, 71 K, .141 OBA)

Saturday's Pitching Matchup:
Jr. LHP Jalen Beeks (5-2, 1.05 ERA, 51.2 IP, 36 H, 6 ER, 13 BB, 40 K, .200 OBA)
Fr. LHP Jared Poché (6-2, 2.25 ERA, 44.0 IP, 31 H, 11 ER, 14 BB, 31 K, .201 OBA)

Sunday's Pitching Matchup:
Jr. RHP Chris Oliver (3-3, 1.99 ERA, 45.1 IP, 33 H, 10 ER, 11 BB, 35 K, .213 OBA)
Jr. LHP Kyle Bouman (3-1, 2.23 ERA, 32.1 IP, 27 H, 8 ER, 4 BB, 19 K, .233 OBA)





continued in next post....



This post was edited on 4/11 at 7:11 pm



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AstroTiger
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)


Relief Pitching:
As mentioned above, a couple of the key bullpen contributors from 2013 are now starting pitchers on this squad, making the younger guys that much more depended on. Colby Suggs was the anchor of the bullpen last season setting the Arkansas single season saves record with 13. Suggs was drafted in the 2nd comp round of the MLB draft and is yet another guy who needed to be replaced in the pen. The person taking over those closing duties is southpaw Michael Gunn, and he is doing it quite well. The junior Gunn’s career numbers are absolutely sick having allowed just 25 hits in 61 innings of relief striking out 71 batters and notching a 1.18 ERA. His career WHIP to date is a ridiculous 0.79 in 45 appearances. The batting average against Gunn in 2014 is just .104 over 17.1 innings. He is actually a two-way player but has seen limited action in his career outside of the dirt bump. He’s got an upper 80’s fastball from the left side and a curve in the mid-70’s. I’ve raved about Gunn enough but there are several other quality arms out of the pen. I will just list their stats below.
Top Bullpen Arms:
LHP Michael Gunn (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 17.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 17 K)
RHP Jacob Stone (3-0, 0.66 ERA, 13.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 13 K)
RHP Zack Jackson (2-1, 2.42 ERA, 22.1 IP, 15 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 13 BB, 23 K)
LHP Colin Poché (2-0, 1.93 ERA, 23.1 IP, 13 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 16 BB, 17 K)
RHP Jackson Lowery (0-1, 3.32 ERA, 21.2 IP, 18 H, 10 R, 8 ER, 6 BB, 22 K)

Arkansas Offense: (LSU numbers in parentheses)
Team BA: .259 (.275)
Team OBP: .360 (.365)
Team SLG: .346 (.387)

Offensively, the Razorback return the top 3 hitters from a team that hit just .260 as a team last season. The biggest threat last year is once again the main man in All-American Brian Anderson. Named to the Golden Spikes mid-season Watch List this week (along with Nola and Scivicque from LSU), Anderson picked up right where he left off last year by hitting .336 so far this season. He leads the team in hits (42), doubles (9), homeruns (3), RBIs (29), and slugging percentage (.429). Anderson, the second sacker, enters the series this weekend riding a 10 game hitting streak. Outfielder Joe Serrano is having another great season, and he too is hitting for a .336 average this year. Serrano is a junior that has seen a lot of playing time each season and racked up a .315 career batting average entering the weekend. Arkansas isn’t very aggressive on the bases with just 30 stolen base attempts on the season. They are successful when they try, however, swiping 24 of those bags.


Arkansas Projected Lineup:
1) CF Tyler Spoon (.280 avg, 7 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 28 RBI, 24 R, 9 BB, 12 K, 3-3 SB)
2) RF Andrew Benintendi (.263 avg, 5 2B, HR, 16 RBI, 28 R, 17 BB, 10 K, 4-6 SB)
3) LF Joe Serrano (.336 avg, 6 2B, 17 RBI, 16 R, 14 BB, 12 K, 3-3 SB)
4) 2B Brian Anderson (.336 avg, 9 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 29 RBI, 21 R, 11 BB, 22 K, 3-4 SB)
5) 1B Eric Fisher (.233 avg, 7 2B, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 12 R, 8 BB, 23 K, 3-4 SB)
6) OF Clark Eagan (.264 avg, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, 10 R, 6 BB, 9 K, 2-2 SB)
7) 3B Bobby Wernes (.241 avg, 2B, 7 RBI, 8 R, 13 BB, 19 K, 1-2 SB)
8) C Jake Wise (.136 avg, 2B, HR, 7 RBI, 14 R, 17 BB, 22 K, 3-4 SB)
9) SS Michael Bernal (.250 avg, 2B, 3B, HR, 9 RBI, 20 R, 6 BB, 16 K, 0-0 SB)

Other guys we will see:
OF/C Krisjon Wilkerson (.244 avg, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 9 RBI, 12 R, 7 BB, 26 K, 1-1 SB)
C/1B Blake Baxendale (.176 avg, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 7 K, 0-0 SB) – injured hand, making trip, could be available Sat.
INF Brett McAfee (.277 avg, 4 2B, 9 RBI, 3 R, 4 BB, 7 K, 0-0 SB)

Defense:
Much was made over how bad the Razorback defense was last year with 31% of the team’s allowed runs being unearned. This season has seen a slight improvement and the team fielding percentage is up to .970, which is good for about 80th in the nation and 9th in the SEC. LSU’s defense is 20th in the country at .978 fld%, 2nd in the SEC. The everyday middle infielders for Arkansas have committed 15 errors. Their main catcher Jake Wise has thrown out 36% of attempting base stealers, while the backup, Baxendale, has caught just 1 base stealer of 12. LSU’s 3 catchers also have combined for a 36% CSB rate.


Season Stats
Roster
Schedule (via Warren Nolan)

Media Coverage:
TV: Friday – CST; Saturday – ESPN2; Sunday – CST
Online: ESPN3.com – Friday, Saturday, & Sunday; GeauxZone Video – all 3 games
Radio: 98.1 FM (check your local listings) all 3 games; audio always available through the GeauxZone


PREDICTION: Another big series that could determine how the West is won. LSU really needs to build on the offensive performance last Sunday, but facing this Razorback staff is no small task. I think this will be 3 very low scoring games on both sides. If LSU can get to the Bullpen early in the series, it will go a long way by Sunday afternoon. Arkansas has a few key arms, but we really want to get down to their 4th and 5th reliever because of a lack of true depth. That is where LSU will have success offensively. Playing this series at home is crucial. Nola will take care of business game 1, but the other 2 games are really a toss up. With great weather and a winning streak in tact, LSU takes care of business in front of a large weekend crowd.
Fri: Arky 0, LSU 2
Sat: Arky 2, LSU 3
Sun: Arky 2, LSU 4








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LSU=Champions
Boxtard Things
Member since Apr 2004
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)


ASTRO DOIN WORK





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LSU=Champions
Boxtard Things
Member since Apr 2004
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)


quote:

Fri: Arky 0, LSU 2
Sat: Arky 2, LSU 3
Sun: Arky 2, LSU 4



Offensive cripple fight!!!






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AstroTiger
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)


and it's only 10 o'clock





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redfieldk717
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)


Late night preview





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Missile
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)


BBQ Pork time







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Dro
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Member since Feb 2010
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)








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LSU=Champions
Boxtard Things
Member since Apr 2004
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)


quote:

8) C Jake Wise (.136 avg, 2B, HR, 7 RBI, 14 R, 17 BB, 22 K, 3-4 SB)


Lol.






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Cap Crunch
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)


quote:

Fri: Arky 0, LSU 2
Sat: Arky 2, LSU 3
Sun: Arky 2, LSU 4


I think that may be too many runs


Oh and Nola's ERA of .47 is just disgusting



This post was edited on 4/10 at 10:18 pm


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harry coleman beast
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)


MOAR WINZ!!!

stro excellent as always






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tigger42day
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)


And a sweep of the swine it will be!!!







Easy as 1-2-3!!!

Thanks Astro!!!




This post was edited on 4/10 at 10:19 pm


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ell_13
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Member since Apr 2013
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)




Friday
Ark - 1
LSU - 4

Saturday
Ark - 3
LSU - 5

Sunday
Ark - 6
LSU - 4






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LSU=Champions
Boxtard Things
Member since Apr 2004
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)


Friday aka NolaFest (W)
Saturday aka ScivicqueFest (W)
Sunday aka WalkFest (L)






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harry coleman beast
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)


LSU 1-0
LSU 3-2
Arky 7-1






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AstroTiger
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)


Everyone likes the pigs to salvage on sunday huh? i almost had that, but I really like Bouman and the arms we have in the bullpen. I went back and forth, opting for the sweep.





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TigerCub
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)








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harry coleman beast
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)


Its possible we sweep if we can score runs, but i think after close games friday and saturday, arky will salvage one.





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ell_13
USA Fan
Alex Box
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)


He's got a point about the pen. If Nola does Nola and Poche goes 7, I think a sweep is more likely than not because we have the whole bullpen available. But I'm guessing Poche struggles a little and goes only 5 meaning Person and Bugg get used up making Sunday more questionable.





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LSU=Champions
Boxtard Things
Member since Apr 2004
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re: Preview: Arkansas vs LSU – Fri 7 (CST) | Sat 12 (ESPN2) | Sun 1 (CST)


Can't win if you don't score.





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