Dylan Crews puts on a show: Takeaways from No. 1 LSU baseball's series win vs Arkansas

BATON ROUGE – It's good to be the best.

Just ask No. 1 LSU baseball. The Tigers (21-3, 4-2 SEC) continued their ascent against No. 3 Arkansas, defeating the Razorbacks twice in a three-game set from Alex Box Stadium.

Arkansas (20-4, 4-2) took the first game, winning 9-3 in 10 innings on Friday. But LSU answered on Saturday with a 12-2 win in seven innings and a 14-5 victory to clinch the series win in the second game of a doubleheader.

Here are four takeaways from the Tigers' second series victory during SEC play.

Dylan Crews' streak

There's little doubt that Dylan Crews is really good at baseball.


But few could have predicted this level of success from him so far this season. Entering Game 3 of the series, through 23 games, Crews had a .532 batting average, .660 on-base percentage and a .974 slugging percentage.

He also had recorded at least one hit in all but one game this season and entered the latter game of the doubleheader on a 21-game hitting streak.

That streak continued after his first at-bat, as Crews launched a two-run home run in the first inning. It was his third home run of the series.

A Saturday shakeup

Following Friday's loss, LSU coach Jay Johnson shook up the Tigers' starting lineup a bit.

Instead of Brayden Jobert or Paxton Kling in the outfield, Johnson moved Tre Morgan back to the outfield and placed Cade Beloso into the lineup at first base.

The shakeup paid off for the LSU, as Beloso had a double and Tre Morgan made a nice catch in left field.

Johnson then switched up the order again for Game 3, keeping Beloso in the lineup as the designated hitter, but moving Morgan back to first base and putting Jobert in left field.

Either way, the lineup changes prevented the struggling Kling and Jared Jones from more time as starters. Perhaps some time off could help both young players get back on track.

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Left-handed pitching problems?

Arkansas' plan on the mound Friday seemed intentional.

The Razorbacks threw back-to-back left-handed pitchers against LSU's vaunted lineup, starting Hunter Hollan and following him up with Hagen Smith.

Hollan dominated the Tigers in 5⅓ innings pitched, allowing no runs and just three hits. Smith gave up three runs but still had eight strikeouts in 4⅔ innings of relief.

As Arkansas likely noticed, this wasn't the first time LSU has struggled at the plate against left-handed pitching. The Tigers had just one hit in 4⅓ innings pitched off Texas A&M left-handed reliever Justin Lamkin last week and even struggled against Butler left-handed starter Cole Graverson on March 3, despite Graverson throwing no harder than 84 mph in his start.

LSU did get three runs (two earned) and three hits off of left-handed Arkansas reliever Zack Morris in Game 3, but Morris entered the game with an ERA over eight. Regardless, the Tigers need to improve against left-handed pitching.

Thatcher Hurd takes a step back

For a second consecutive start, Thatcher Hurd struggled in Game 3 against the Razorbacks.

The UCLA transfer allowed four earned runs in just two innings pitched, failing to escape the third inning. Control was a problem for him again, as he walked five batters and hit another.

In his first two SEC starts, Hurd has allowed six earned runs in 5⅓ innings pitched.

Koki Riley covers LSU sports for The Daily Advertiser and the USA TODAY Sports South Region. Email him at and follow him on Twitter at @KokiRiley.

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: LSU baseball: Dylan Crews leads Tigers past Arkansas in series victory