Arkansas ends LSU’s 15-game winning streak

NWA Media photo by Michael Woods --  LSU  pitcher Ryan Eades hands the ball over to relief pitcher Nick Rumbelow as he leaves the game in the fifth at Arkansas on April 13, 2013. Show caption
NWA Media photo by Michael Woods -- LSU pitcher Ryan Eades hands the ball over to relief pitcher Nick Rumbelow as he leaves the game in the fifth at Arkansas on April 13, 2013.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Right-hander Ryan Eades gave up a season-high five runs in four innings, and No. 10 Arkansas beat No. 2 LSU 8-3 on Saturday night in front of a season-best crowd of 9,884 at the Razorbacks’ Baum Stadium.

The loss snapped LSU’s 15-game overall winning streak and 10-game run in Southeastern Conference play.

“I’ve been in this game a long time, and you’re going to have nights like this,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “This is just what happens. It’s a tough game to play. It’s a very humbling game. And tonight wasn’t our night.”

Eades (7-1) went four innings, giving up a season-high five runs on 72 pitches. He allowed eight hits, the most since giving up nine at Missouri on March 30. He walked three and struck out five. He was replaced after giving up back-to-back singles to Brian Anderson and Dominic Ficociello to start the fifth.

Arkansas’ leadoff man reached in six of the first seven innings.

“The leadoff hitters, I wasn’t very good there tonight,” Eades said. “They had some seeing-eye hits, and we had some bad fortune tonight. Tip your hat to Arkansas.”

Just as LSU (33-3, 12-2) took the lead for good on a three-run homer midway through Friday’s 6-2 victory, Arkansas (25-11, 9-5) used a three-run homer to take a lead in the fourth Saturday.

After Anderson walked and Ficociello singled down the right-field line, Jake Wise hit a line drive homer over the left-field wall.

It was the first home run off Eades and Wise’s second of the season, his first since Feb. 22 against Evansville.

“We were just being aggressive,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “I just think we did a good job. ... We swung with a lot of confidence.”

Eades struck out Willie Schwanke for the second out of the fourth, but Arkansas pushed its lead to 4-0 on consecutive singles by Brett McAfee, Jacob Mahan and Tyler Spoon.

Wise posted his fourth RBI in the fifth when a sacrifice fly scored Anderson to make it 5-0.

“It just caught up to Ryan,” Mainieri said. “He walked two guys to lead off innings and gave up hits in two other innings to the leadoff batter. Four times out of five, you let the leadoff hitter get on base. Eventually, the breaks of baseball are going to catch up with you.”

Nick Rumbelow worked two scoreless innings, giving up a pair of hits, before Arkansas pushed its lead to 8-0 in the seventh against Will LaMarche, who walked three and hit a batter. The key hit was a two-run double from Mahan against Nate Fury, who relieved LaMarche with one out.

LSU avoided its first shutout of the season with three runs off Arkansas reliever Landon Simpson in the ninth when Chris Sciambra hit a two-run single and Chris Chinea scored on a wild pitch.

LSU’s best chance to score off Arkansas starter Ryne Stanek (4-2) came in the second inning. Mason Katz led off with a walk and, an out later, JaCoby Jones singled to left. But Katz tried to make it to third on Jones’ single and was thrown out.

Stanek went 6.2 innings, allowing four hits and three walks while striking out five to improve his ERA in SEC games to 0.56. Stanek has gone 14.2 innings without allowing a run, but it was his first victory at home since beating Western Illinois in the season opener Feb. 15.

“I thought we hit several balls really hard off Stanek early in the game,” Mainieri said. “In the third inning, all three outs were hit as hard as our three batters could hit the ball. (Ty) Ross crushed one into left-center field that, without the wind, would have probably been a home run. (Sean) McMullen smokes one into center field, and (Mark) Laird smokes one right at the left fielder. You say to yourself that you’re hitting this guy; we’re getting to him. And he’s legit, he’s good. He’s going to be a first-round (draft) pick throwing 95 miles per hour.”

The Tigers had two runners reach on walks against Arkansas reliever Jalen Beeks in the seventh, but Ty Ross lined out to second and McMullen grounded out to end any threat. Rhymes went 2 for 4 to lead LSU. Mason Katz was 1 for 3 to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. Alex Bregman was 0 for 5 and to snap his 24-game hitting streak.

Ficociello was 3 for 3 for Arkansas.

Sophomore left-hander Cody Glenn (5-1, 3.12) is set to start in Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. series finale against Arkansas senior southpaw Randall Fant (2-1, 1.71)

“They wanted to win tonight as badly as they’ve wanted to win the last 15 games,” Mainieri said. “It just didn’t happen against a good team in a tough environment.”