FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Just six games remain in the regular season and fourth-ranked Arkansas will look to continue its hold on the SEC Western Division lead when it faces 15th-ranked LSU for a three-game series at Baum-Walker Stadium starting on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Games one and two between the Hogs and Tigers is set for a 6:30 p.m. start, while the series finale will have first pitch set for 1 p.m.
The Razorbacks (37-12, 17-7 SEC) are winners of six of their last seven games and have won three-straight Southeastern Conference series, which is its longest streak of conference series wins since 2017. Before Sunday’s loss on the back end of the doubleheader with Kentucky, Arkansas had one nine-straight SEC games, its longest streak since 2010.
LSU (30-19, 14-10) is three games back of Arkansas in the western division and hit .331 in last week’s series loss to Ole Miss. LSU nearly won the series with the Rebels with a six-run ninth inning rally on Sunday to send the game to extras, but were unable to win it after 10 innings.
Arkansas will send redshirt junior Isaiah Campbell to the bump, once again, in game one as he’ll go opposite LSU’s Ma’Khail Hilliard. Campbell picked up his eighth win of the year last week at Kentucky, after throwing seven innings with one run allowed and six strikeouts. Campbell has racked up nine quality outings in his last 10 starts and is the current leader in the SEC with 78 innings pitched. He’s got four games with 10 or more strikeouts this year and has never walked more than three batters in his 12 appearances this season.
Offensively, the Hogs are batting .346 in their last 10 games and are scoring an average of 10 runs per game during that stretch. As a team, the Razorbacks have hit 21 home runs during the 10-game run and have hit 64 home runs this year, which is third-most in the SEC.
Lead-off batter Trevor Ezell has been one of Arkansas’ best hitters over the last two weeks, going 18-for-39 (.462) in the last 10 games, with eight of his 18 hits going for extra-bases and 10 RBIs. He’s also got a .577 on-base percentage during that stretch, having walked 11 time in his last 52 plate appearances with a team-best six stolen bases.
This weekend’s series will be televised in front of a national audience on Thursday and Saturday. Game one will be featured on ESPNU, while game three will be on ESPN2. Tom Hart, Kyle Peterson and Eduardo Perez will call the series opener, while Hart and Peterson will return for the finale. The middle game will be online only via SEC Network+ with Brett Dolan and Troy Eklund calling the game.
Phil Elson and Bubba Carpenter will have the call as always on the radio for the Razorback Sports Network from Learfield IMG College. Fans can listen to the radio call via the Razorback Gameday app and locally on KQSM 92.1 FM. Pregame coverage begins 30 minutes prior to first pitch. There will also be a live radio link available on ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Game 1: (ARK) RHP Isaiah Campbell (8-1, 2.54 ERA, 87 K, 13 BB) vs. (LSU) RHP Ma’Khail Hilliard (0-2, 4.59 ERA, 41 K, 12 BB)
Game 2: (ARK) LHP Patrick Wicklander (5-1, 3.91 ERA, 71 K, 29 BB) vs. (LSU) RHP Eric Walker (4-4, 5.30 ERA, 45 K, 20 BB)
Game 3: (ARK) TBA vs. (LSU) RHP Landon Marceaux (3-2, 7.04 ERA, 24 K, 14 BB)
Razorback Prime Nine
>> With two weeks to play in the regular season, Arkansas welcomes LSU to Baum-Walker Stadium this weekend for a three-game set that starts on Thursday. LSU has won seven-straight regular season series against Arkansas dating back to 2012.
>> Arkansas is coming off its third-straight SEC series victory after taking two of three games at Kentucky last week. It’s loss to the Wildcats on Sunday snapped a nine-game conference winning streak, its longest since 2010.
>> The Razorbacks currently sit at the top of the SEC Western Division with a two-game lead over Ole Miss and Mississippi State. At 17-7, the Hogs need two more wins to tie for the most conference wins under Dave Van Horn and five to tie the school record (1999).
>> Redshirt junior Isaiah Campbell will take the mound on Thursday night for his 13th start of the year. At 8-1, Campbell is the SEC leader in innings pitched (78.0) and has worked six or more innings nine of his last 10 starts with nine quality outings.
>> Lead-off batter Trevor Ezell hit .533 over four games last week, with five of his eight hits going for extra-bases. Ezell has seen his average rise 29 points since taking over the lead-off spot (April 2) and is hitting .381 since then.
>> Head coach Dave Van Horn earned his 1,000th Division I win last week after defeating Kentucky, 9-1, in the first game of their doubleheader. Van Horn is the ninth active head coach in the country with 1,000 or more wins at the DI level.
>> Casey Martin and Dominic Fletcher lead the SEC in doubles heading into Thursday’s game with LSU. The duo each have one double in the last four games and have combined for 12 in SEC play.
>> Casey Martin hit his third inside-the-park home run of the year last week in the series opener against Kentucky and second of the week. Martin is hitting .302 for the year with 11 home runs, which is the second-most home runs on the team.
>> Catcher Casey Opitz was a baserunners worst nightmare last week as he caught five would-be base stealers, all against Kentucky. Opitz has 18 caught stolen bases this year, which leads the SEC.
For more information on Razorback Baseball, follow @RazorbackBSB on Twitter.