LSU series even after baseball’s loss


By Hannah Saad

Cody Estremera, Sports Editor

One swing changed everything in Alabama’s 5-2 loss to LSU on Saturday.

With two outs and two runners on base in the top of the fourth, LSU center fielder Zach Watson drilled a ball down the left field line. The ball sailed clearly over the fence but was originally called foul. LSU challenged the call, and the play was overturned.

The result was a go-ahead three-run home run.

“It was a big swing in momentum,” coach Brad Bohannon said. “Disappointed that happened and really, really disappointed that we walked two guys before that ball is hit.”

Alabama started the game strong, as Keith Holcombe hit the third pitch Eric Walker threw over the right-center field wall, but it scratched across just one more run for the rest of the 27 outs.

The only other run was scored in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Holcombe singled and moved to third on a T.J. Reeves single. After a fly out, Tyler Gentry shot a single through the left side of the infield to score Holcombe.

Getting on base wasn’t the problem, as Alabama reached base 13 times. The problem was the Crimson Tide couldn’t score the runners, finishing with a .125 (1-for-8) batting average with runners in scoring position.

“It’s kind of been a theme for us all year,” Bohannon said. “I’ve been using the term we haven’t been very efficient offensively. If you look at the statistics, the runs that we’re scoring with bases loaded and less than two outs, runner at third with less than one out, runner at second and nobody out, batting average in league play with runners in scoring position, it’s pretty depressing.”

It finished the game with 10 batters left on base.

LSU had the same problem, as the Tigers finished with just two hits with runners in scoring position (2-for-10).

Brock Love started and finished with the loss for Alabama. He lasted 3 2/3 innings, allowing four runs off five hits. He also walked and struck out three batters.

Garret Rukes and Casey Cobb were the two relievers used. Rukes threw 1 1/3 innings, allowing a run off two hits. He also walked and struck out a pair. Cobb finished the game, throwing 3 2/3 innings. He allowed just two hits, while striking out two.

The big difference in Alabama’s Friday win and Saturday’s loss was the strikeout-to-walk ratio. In the 6-1 win, the Crimson Tide bullpen struck out 11 batters, while walking just one. That ratio was slimmer on Saturday, as Alabama walked five batters and struck out seven.

The series finale will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday.