By: Michael Lanclos
Da Boot Sports
BATON ROUGE, LA: LSU would fight hard to the end, but the Tide found a way to hang on to a 6-5 victory over the Tigers. With the win, Alabama improves to 30-18, 12-13 in SEC play, while LSU drops to 31-19 and 10-16 in SEC play.
AJ Labas would get things started on the mound in the bottom of the 1st taking down the Bama hitters in order, three up and three down.
LSU would strike first as Dylan Crews and Gavin Dugas would launch back to back solo home runs to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Cade Doughty then hit a single up the middle before advancing to second base on a ground out from Cade Beloso. Alabama pitcher Dylan Smith would rebound and get a strikeout to end the LSU threat.
Alabama would answer in the 2nd inning as Sam Praytor would send a home run over the left field wall. Labas would rebound sitting down the next three Tide hitters to get out of the top of the frame with LSU now up 2-1.
In the bottom of the 2nd Drew Bianco and Alex Milazzo would draw back to back walks to reach base. Dylan Crews would then lace a two out single up the middle to score Bianco, increasing the LSU lead to 3-1.
In the 3rd, Alabama would plate two more runs to tie things up, 3-3, as they would get to Labas, hitting four singles to cause the damage.
The Tigers would mount a threat in the bottom of the inning, as Beloso and DiGiacomo each managed to single, but Bama pitcher Dylan Smith would record the final out to strand them both on base.
Jackson Tate would leadoff the 4th inning with a single through the left side of the field, then quickly steal second base
safely. Caden Rose would then slice a double just inside the first base line into the right field corner, scoring Tate. Bryce Eblin stepped up to the plate and also hit a double allowing Rose to score giving the Tide a 5-3 lead.
The Tigers would go quietly in the 4th inning, stranding a runner on 1st base.
Javen Coleman would replace Labas on the mound in the 5th giving up a leadoff homerun to Zane Denton as Bama would increase their lead to 6-3.
Bama pitcher Connor Shamblin would enter the game taking care of the LSU batters quietly as they each would ground out to end the inning.
Both teams would go scoreless until the bottom of the 9th, with Alabama still leading 6-3. LSU would get a single from Tre Morgan who then advanced to 2nd base safely. Gavin Dugas would then drill a two out, two Run, Home Run to left center to make it a 6-5 game. But that would be all for the Tigers as they would hit into a long pop fly to end the ball game.
“We came out so well and hit two home runs in the first inning and had a 3-1 lead in the second inning with a chance to add to it,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “But their starting pitcher (Dylan Smith) settled in against us and got into a groove. We had a couple of opportunities and some hard-hit balls, but when we did hit them hard, they were right at people. “Our offense just went kind of stale as the game progressed, and their offense was able to take advantage of its scoring opportunities.”
AJ Labas falls to 3-2 with the loss....
LSU is now 31-19 (10-16) as they head into Sunday's rubber game to decide the series winner. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00pm at Alex Box Stadium