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LSU's Nola shuts down Arkansas
LSU's Aaron Nola pitches against Arkansas during the Southeastern Conference NCAA college baseball tournament on Thursday, May 22, 2014, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas couldn't figure out Aaron Nola Thursday night at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.
The LSU starter gave up a pair of runs and struck out seven as the Tigers beat the Razorbacks 7-2 in the winner's bracket.
Nola struggled in the first inning as Arkansas took a 1-0 lead thanks to a pair of hits and a throwing error. He also walked a pair, but a groundout by Bobby Wernes stranded the bases loaded.
LSU answered in the second inning with a two-out solo home run by Tyler Moore. Three straight singles in the third gave the Tigers a 3-1 lead and knocked Arkansas starter Colin Poche out of the game.
At one point, Nola retired 14 Razorbacks in a row, as LSU extended its lead to 7-1 with a run in the sixth and seventh and two runs in the eighth.
The Razorbacks threatened in the eighth inning as Clark Eagan walked and Joe Serrano and Andrew Benintendi each singled to load the bases, but they could manage only one run on Brian Anderson's sacrifice fly.
Landon Simpson and Alex Phillips each allowed two runs out of the bullpen. Simpson struck out four batters in 4 1/3 innings, while Phillips closed out the game with one walk in two innings of work.
Arkansas and Ole Miss will play Friday afternoon in an elimination game. The winner will play LSU Saturday.