LSU dropped its series to No. 1 Arkansas this weekend and fell to 7-14 in the Southeastern Conference.
The Tigers lost Friday night 7-0 as Arkansas pulled away in a pitcher's duel, then they lost 17-10 in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday. LSU won the nightcap 5-4 to avoid the sweep.
Here are three things we learned from the weekend series:
1. Has LSU found its third starter?
Ma’Khail Hilliard provided something Saturday night LSU has searched for ever since it lost Jaden Hill: a quality start in the final game of a series. Making his first weekend start since 2019, the senior right-hander allowed one run over five innings against one of the most productive lineups in the country. LSU had lost three straight series finales as it pieced together the games with its bullpen. Having prior experience in the rotation — he started 12 games as a freshman — Hilliard may hold onto the spot for at least another week.
Here, with so much at stake, was a chance for LSU’s bullpen to protect a lead. The Tigers had pulled ahead of Arkansas by four runs in the sec…
2. Small things continue to haunt
Small lapses have often plagued LSU. More occurred during the series. Center fielder Giovanni DiGiacomo missed the cutoff man in the seventh inning Friday night, allowing an Arkansas runner to reach second base when he should’ve stayed at first. LSU would’ve kept a chance to turn a double play. Instead, Arkansas had two players in scoring position. They both scored. The Tigers also made a couple base running gaffes, appeared to miss another cutoff man and committed two errors. People make mistakes, but they have to play cleaner down the stretch.
How good is Kim Mulkey’s winning touch?
3. Now comes the (somewhat) easier part
Over the past seven weeks, LSU has played six teams ranked in the top 10 by at least one outlet. The Tigers have played the nation's most difficult schedule as a result, according to WarrenNolan.com, and they took their lumps. Now the schedule gets a little easier. The final three weeks of the season, LSU will play three currently unranked teams: Auburn, Alabama and Texas A&M. Two of them (Auburn and Texas A&M) are tied for last in the SEC West, giving LSU a better chance to finish strong.