Alabama Baseball Suffers 8-2 Loss to 15th-Ranked LSU on Thursday
Alabama baseball fell, 8-2, to No. 15 LSU on Thursday evening at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Following the first game of the series, the Crimson Tide is now 15-27 overall and 2-17 in Southeastern Conference play.
“I think (Alex Lange) is a really good arm and a true Friday night guy,” said Alabama head coach Greg Goff. “I felt like we had some really good at-bats tonight. When you've got a good arm on the mound like (Lange), you've got to be able to get situational hits; those are the little things that we have to do. You're not going to get four or five hits off of that guy in the same inning, so you've got to be able to situational hit, and we just didn't come through tonight."
LSU starter Alex Lange (5-4) earned his fifth win of the season thanks to 7.1 innings of two-run baseball. The Tiger right-hander allowed eight hits and issued one walk while striking out 10. Tide starter Dylan Duarte (2-5) suffered the loss, exiting early after working 3.0 innings. The threesome of Sam Finnerty, Zac Rogers and Mike Oczypok combined for the final 6.0 frames. Finnerty highlighted the relief effort, with the sophomore working a career-long 4.1 scoreless innings. He allowed three hits and two walks while striking out one batter across his 67 pitches.
The Tigers struck first in Thursday’s series opener, scoring three in the top of the first. LSU used back-to-back singles to begin the game before a groundout advanced both runners into scoring position. With two on, a single scored the game's first run, and another single in the next at-bat crossed one more. A fielder's choice resulted in the inning's final tally, giving LSU a 3-0 advantage after half an inning of play.
Alabama responded with a pair of runs in the second to narrow the gap. With one down, Chandler Avant reached on a fielder's choice before advancing to second on an error. In the next at-bat, Alex Webb drove the first pitch he saw into the visitor’s bullpen for a two-run home run to put the Tide in the scoring column and make it one-run game at 3-2.
LSU put up single tallies in both the third and fourth innings to extend the lead to 5-2 before a three-run ninth put the game out of reach. A trio of walks loaded the bases in the Tiger ninth, before a fourth free pass pushed one run across. With two down, a double down the left field line scored a pair of runs to widen the deficit and close out the game’s scoring.
The Crimson Tide offense was highlighted by two-hit efforts from Webb, Cody Henry and Kyle Kaufman. Webb finished 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, both the Tide's RBI and one run scored.
Alabama and LSU return to the diamond tomorrow evening with a 6 p.m. CT first pitch at The Joe. The second game of the series will feature a pair of seniors, with the Crimson Tide looking to right-hander Nick Eicholtz and the Tigers calling on southpaw Jared Poche’. The game will air nationally on SEC Network.