FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — After breaking the postgame huddle in right field on Saturday, some of LSU's players hugged each other, able to enjoy a win for the first time in more than a week.
The night before, LSU's season reached one of its lowest points. The Tigers had lost the first two games of their series with Arkansas, 14-4 and 11-6, and their losing streak reached five games.
"It's devastating when you're competing hard and you're playing hard and you feel like you're right there and the score doesn't show all the work you put in," senior right fielder Antoine Duplantis said. "Constantly going into a game thinking you're going to win and getting your dreams crushed, it's hard."
LSU won 3-2 on Saturday to end its recent skid. The players left Arkansas feeling better about their team after the win. Here are three takeaways from the series.
Tigers still on the ropes
LSU’s goal of hosting an NCAA regional looked shaky entering the series, as projections were split on where they would end up. Then the Tigers lost the first two games by a combined score of 25-10, and their losing streak reached five games.
The players seemed relieved when they won on Saturday. Taking a conference game on the road against a top-5 team helped their postseason standing. Antoine Duplantis thought the victory could “jumpstart” the team.
LSU baseball snapped a five-game losing streak by beating Arkansas 3-2 on Saturday afternoon.
Cade Beloso’s tweaked ankle
Freshman first baseman Cade Beloso tweaked his ankle on Tuesday, limiting him throughout the weekend. Beloso, who had eight home runs and a .280 batting average before the series-opener, did not play in the field against Arkansas.
He spent the series as the designated hitter, and he went 0 for 7 with five strikeouts. In Beloso’s absence, LSU used three first basemen: CJ Willis, Drew Bianco, and for the first time, senior Chris Reid.
Pitching struggled until Saturday
Going into the final game of the series, LSU had allowed 56 runs over its last four games. Its opponent had reached double-digits each time. Then Landon Marceaux and Todd Peterson stopped the recent skid.
LSU has dealt with injuries to its pitchers all season. Players have stepped into unexpected roles, but redshirt sophomore Eric Walker said the team can’t use that as an excuse. The rest of the staff “has to get the job done with whoever we got," Walker said.
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