Walker pitches LSU to SEC tourney title, 4-2 over Arkansas

Posted May 31, 2017

It's the second tournament semifinals appearance for the Razorbacks in the last four years and first since 2014. He was nearly as good in the SEC tournament title game Sunday.

Freshman Eric Walker limited the hot-hitting Hogs to one run in seven-plus innings and No. 6 LSU downed the No. 13 Razorbacks 4-2 in the championship game of the SEC Tournament before a crowd of 13,128 at the Hoover Met. That secured the Tigers' record 12th SEC tournament championship and gave LSU (44-17) the league's automatic seed in the NCAA tournament, for which regional pairings will be announced today.

"There's all those lessons that you can take from it (the game)", Auburn head coach Butch Thompson said. Billingsley allowed three hits and three runs (all earned), with five walks and five strikeouts. He went 3-for-4. Kramer Robertson also had three hits, including a homer and triple.

There was some thought that maybe Hess would finish the game, but LSU closer Hunter Newman came out for the 9th in a high pressure situation and once again set everything on fire before putting out his own mess. The Hogs will play 2nd-seeded LSU in tomorrow's championship game at 2 p.m. on the SEC Network. Spanberger's three homers and seven RBI is an SEC Tournament record.

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LSU coach Paul Mainieri, upper right, is separated from Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn (2) by an umpire as they discuss a collision at second base during the fourth inning of the championship game in the Southeastern Conference NCAA college baseball tournament, Sunday, May 28, 2017, in Hoover, Ala.

"It's the first time I've done it in 35 years", he said.

Spanberger was named tournament MVP.

"I knew I couldn't just throw soft cookies in there because they would capitalize", Parrish said. "It's the first time Brady (Singer) has been hit like that the whole year".

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Auburn's best chance came in the bottom of the third inning, when Bo Decker and Will Holland drew back-to-back leadoff walks off Taccolini, who entered Arkansas' second game of the day with a 5.01 ERA. Row was South Carolina's top hitter at the SEC Tournament batting.368 (7-for-19) with five runs scored, a double, a homer and a pair of RBI. Josh Smith singled home the go-ahead run, and the Tigers made it 3-1 on a sacrifice fly. The run stood after a replay appeared to show that Duplantis' hand touched the plate an instant before he was tagged by catcher Grant Koch.

Chad Spanberger cleared that second wall twice, and almost did it a third time in No. 4-seed Arkansas' 12-0 run-ruling of No. 8-seed Auburn in an SEC Tournament elimination game.

Fletcher's hard slide toppled Freeman, and LSU players on the field took exception.

He wasn't the only Arkansas player showing off his power.

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