Alabama came back in a late-night game at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge to defeat LSU, 5-1. Much earlier in the day in the first game of a doubleheader, the Tigers had taken a 2-0 win over the Crimson Tide.
The doubleheader was necessitated by a Friday night rainout. On Saturday, the teams got the first game in early in the afternoon, but the night game was delayed by inclement weather in the area.
In the nightcap, Alabama got a complete game performance from Justin Kamplain as No. 19 downed No. 6 LSU.
Alabama (32-19, 14-12 SEC) and LSU (36-14-1, 14-11-1 SEC) will play game three of the SEC series on Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. CDT. The game will be televised on CSS and ESPN3.
Alabama will start right-hander Geoffrey Bramblett (4-1, 3.71 ERA) and the Tigers will start left-hander Jared Poche (6-2, 2.58).
The Tide will have plenty of arms available Sunday. Not only did Kamplain go the distance in getting the second game victory, but Spencer Turnbull also went all the way in the opening game loss.
"I'm proud of our guys, it was a long day and our guys responded just like we wanted them to," Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said. "Justin Kamplain was tremendous tonight and gave us a great start, and we made some nice defensive plays behind him. To come back after the split doubleheader and the long rain delay, our guys kept their focus."
Kamplain (5-3) tossed his first career complete game to get the win. Kamplain allowed four hits with three strikeouts and no walks. Of the 27 outs recorded by Kamplain, 20 came on fly outs.
"Kamplain threw 98 pitches and it was a very impressive outing for him," Gaspard said. "He had a three-pitch mix going and the biggest thing was he attacked the strike zone. He was in control of the game from the first pitch and stayed with it for a tremendous outing."
Against six LSU pitchers, the Alabama offense had eight hits that included a pair of two-run home runs from Moore and Salem. Moore was 1-for-4 with two RBI and Salem had a 2-for-5 performance with two RBI and two runs scored. Mikey White was 2-for-4 with a run scored from the leadoff spot, Wade Wass reached base three times in four plate appearances with a single and he was hit by a pitch twice and Austen Smith was 1-of-3 with a walk and an RBI.
"We played a little long-ball tonight, as Ben got us off to a good start with the two run homer, then we got another two-run homer from Salem," Gaspard said. "We swung the bats well and I thought we completed well all day long. I was happy for our team. We needed a big win and responded tonight and got one."
After a three-hour rain delay, and first pitch coming at 10 p.m. CT, Alabama didn't waste much time to get on the scoreboard, scoring three times in the top of the first. After a Salem one-out single, Moore hit his team leading eighth home run of the season to left field off LSU starter and losing pitcher Alden Cartwright (1-1). The Tide added another run in the inning when Smith drove in Kyle Overstreet, who reached on an error, from second on a single to left field.
"You need something to energize you a bit after sitting around for three hours waiting for the start of the game," Gaspard said. "It showed that our team was ready to play. From the first inning on, we were on the barrel there for about the first four innings."
The Tide extended their lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning when Salem homered to right field off Parker Bugg, who was the third LSU pitcher of the game. It was the second home run of the season and third of the career for Salem.
The Tigers got on the board in the fifth inning, when Chinea led off the inning with a solo shot to left. LSU opened the bottom of the seventh inning with singles by Hale and Zardon, but Kamplain got a double play and a pop out to end the inning without allowing a run.
In a pitcher's duel between Spencer Turnbull and Aaron Nola, Alabama came out on the short end, losing to LSU, 2-0.
"Spencer pitched one of his best games all year; he was outstanding," Gaspard said. "His velocity was really good and his command was excellent. Offensively we ran into one of the toughest pitchers in the country, and he was on today. You just tip your hat when a guy pitches like that and you get ready for the next game."
Turnbull went the distance, throwing a season high eight innings, allowing two runs on six hits with two strikeouts, a couple walks and two hit batters. Turnbull gave up single runs in the second and fourth innings to drop to 5-5 on the season.
For the Tigers, Aaron Nola threw a complete game as well, throwing nine scoreless innings, allowing four hits with no walks and nine strikeouts. Nola improved to 8-1 on the season after recording his first victory since April 11.
Nola had a perfect game through five innings until Casey Hughston got the Tide's first of four hits to open the top of the sixth inning. Alabama also got a single by Ben Moore in the seventh, and singles by Austen Smith and William Elliott in the eighth.
"We competed really hard and put ourselves in a couple positions during the game," Gaspard said. "There is a reason why Nola is the top college pitcher in the country. I like the way our guys played today, they stayed aggressive and stayed after it. We have to keep that same mentality into game two."
Mark Laird accounted for three of the Tigers' six hits in the game, while Jack Fraley was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk and scored both runs in the game.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead when Tyler Moore's RBI single plated Fraley, who doubled off the second-base bag with one out in the second inning.
LSU added to its lead in the fourth when Danny Zardon slapped a two-out RBI double down the left field line. Turnbull walked Fraley and Moore before giving up the double to Zardon. A nice relay throw home from Daniel Cucjen cut down Moore at the plate, as he was trying to score from first on the play.
After the Tide got out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth, Hughston broke up Nola's perfect game bid with a single to center field on a 2-1 pitch to lead off the Bama sixth. Nola then struck out the next two batters, before a fly out to right field ended the inning.
Alabama's biggest threat of the game came in the eighth, when it got a leadoff single by Smith and one-out pinch-hit single by Elliott. With runners on first and second with one out, Nola got Cucjen to line into an inning-ending double play to end the threat.