Baseball forces Sunday rubber match with No. 20 LSU with emphatic victory Saturday night


CW / Morgan Gray

Alabama starting pitcher Jacob McNairy (34) in the Crimson Tide’s 8-3 win over the No. 20 LSU Tigers on April 7 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Nathan Brown, Contributing Writer

The Alabama Crimson Tide (26-21, 10-13) won Game 2 of the weekend series vs. the No. 20 LSU Tigers (31-15, 13-10) by a score of 8-3 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium Saturday night. 

The Crimson Tide ended a four-game losing streak in a game Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said they “had to win.”

“It was good to get a win – we needed one, obviously,” Bohannon said. “LSU helped us out – they walked us eight times, threw a bunt away – and to our guys’ credit, we took advantage of the mistakes they made. Jacob [McNairy] gave us a great start and Jake Leger did a good job to get us to Dylan Ray. We defended the field much better tonight and got enough production out of the lineup. It was good to get a win, and now we are in a position to win the series tomorrow over a really, really good LSU team.”

Alabama came out blazing early, scoring five runs in the first two innings to jump out to an early lead once again versus the Tigers. Unlike the Friday night loss, the Crimson Tide was able to hold on to this one behind strong pitching. 

Senior RHP Jacob McNairy got the start for the Crimson Tide. After giving up an early solo shot, McNairy settled in and dominated the rest of the way – surrendering just three hits and no runs in his following 4.2 innings pitched. 

McNairy finished with 5.2 innings pitched, allowing four hits and one run. He walked three and struck out seven on 102 total pitches. 

On the other side, LSU suffered consistent defensive miscues throughout the night that turned into scores for the Crimson Tide. It was a cameo appearance for LSU starter Blake Money, throwing just 13 pitches total before being pulled out of the game. The Tigers went to the bullpen early in the first inning with the bases loaded and no outs for the Crimson Tide.

In the second, shortstop Jim Jarvis’ bunt drove in center fielder Caden Rose following a throwing error. In the next at bat, second baseman Bryce Eblin slid head first into home plate after a wild pitch. An unearned Jarvis run would follow shortly after, quickly stretching the game to 5-1 in favor of Alabama.

 Two more would score in the fourth after an outfield error, extending the Crimson Tide lead to six. 

LSU center fielder Dylan Crews’ two-run homer in the second looked to be the last chance for the Tigers to complete another comeback, but their efforts eventually fell short. Crews carried the Tigers offensively going 3-for-3 at the plate with two home runs on the night.

RHP Dylan Ray entered the game in the 8th and closed it out for the Crimson Tide, finishing with 4 strikeouts in two innings pitched.

A series deciding Game 3 will be played at Sewell-Thomas Stadium on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.