Moore keys Diamond Hog’s victory over LSU

This probably hasn’t been the type of junior season Arkansas Razorback second baseman Robert Moore dreamed of at the plate.

He’s struggled compared to previous numbers he posted as a Hog, batting .241 overall and 209 in SEC games with 3 home runs, but with the game on the line Thursday against the Hogs’ biggest baseball rivals, Moore, more than delivered.

Moore belted a two-run, go-ahead single in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift No. 6 Arkansas to a 5-4 victory over the No. 15 LSU Tigers in a pivotal SEC West matchup at Baum-Walker Stadium.

Next up for the Diamond Hogs

Opponent: LSU
When: 5 p.m. Friday, April 15
Where: Baum-Walker Stadium, Fayetteville
Streaming: SEC Network
Radio: 92.1 FM / AM 1590 (more)

Upcoming games

April 16 – LSU, 2 p.m. (SEC Network)
April 19 – ASU, 6:30 p.m. (SEC+)
April 20 – ASU, 4 p.m. (SEC+)

“I think his confidence should have jumped up a little bit tonight,” Arkansas coach DaveVan Horn said. “He’s been fighting it a little bit, working extremely hard, coming in early, staying late, one-on-one with Coach (Nate) Thompson a lot.”

Van Horn wasn’t surprised by Moore’s clutch at-bat.

“He thinks he can play, he can play and he wants that at-bat when the game is on the line or the ball hit to him when the game is on the line, Van horn said. “It’s just kind of in his DNA, his makeup. That’s what he’s all about. He wants to be in the middle of the action, and you’ve got to love that as a coach.”

In the top of the eighth, Moore turned a double play with first baseman Peyton Stovall to save reliever Brady Tygart from a bases-loaded jam after starter Connor Noland held the Tigers down through six innings. He had a no-hitter brewing through 5 2/3 innings before LSU’ dangerous lineup finally got to him.

“That was absolutely huge,” Tygart said. “That put absolutely all the momentum in our dugout and that got our fans into the game.”

The Tigers threatened in the ninth with the tying run on first base, but Tygart drew a pop fly to left field that was secured by Jace Bohrofen for the game’s final out.

Tygart garnered praise from Nolan for his ice-water effort in relief.

“It’s unbelievable what he does,” Arkansas starting pitcher Connor Noland said. “I can’t believe he’s a freshman. He’s got a lot of courage go out there. A lot of grit. He stuck through the hard part of that lineup and really grinded out the win.”

The Razorbacks (26-7, 9-4 SEC) and Tigers (23-10, 7-6) play at 5 p.m. in Baum-Walker Stadium for the second game of the series. It will be televised on the SEC network. (Update: The game was moved up to 5 p.m. due to the threat of storms on Friday night)

Arkansas southpaw Hagen Smith (5-2, 4.54 ERA) will square off against LSU righty Blake Money (2-2, 4.68). However thunderstorms are forecasted in the Fayetteville area for this evening.