Tide Takes LSU Series, Leads SEC

The Alabama baseball team pulled off a series upset and held a grip on first place in the Southeastern Conference standings with a 5-4 extra inning win over LSU at "The Joe" in Tuscaloosa Sunday.

After losing five straight series to Southeastern Conference rival LSU, the University of Alabama fought through 13 innings Sunday afternoon to claim the victory and win its first series over the #4 ranked Tigers since 1999.

With two men on and no outs in the bottom of the 13th, Tide first baseman Evan Bush hit the game winning RBI single up the middle to drive home Emeel Salem and give the Crimson Tide the 5-4 victory.

True freshman David Robertson started on the mound for the Tide, throwing 6 1/3 solid innings, allowing five hits, four runs, and striking out seven LSU batters in his first career conference start.

Junior right-handed reliever Jordan Davis (3-0 picked up the win coming on in the seventh inning to pitch the final 6 2/3 shutout innings, the longest outing of his career. He allowed only five hits and struck out four.

Davis even batted twice in the game as the Tide made a number of substitutions which included moving the DH Allen Rice to second base in the ninth inning. Davis batted in the 11th and 12th innings and struck out both times.

"Everyone is ecstatic right now", said Davis, "This is such a huge series. I was ready to run right back out to the mound if we didn't get it done in the 13th because I had such a huge adrenaline rush."

The Tide would get things started in the bottom of the second inning when Morrow Thomley broke his series slump by hitting a solo home run to left field to give Bama a 1-0 lead.

The bottom of the fourth would provide another run for the Tide, when Rice hit a sacrifice fly to score Bush.

LSU would tie the game in the top of the fifth when catcher Matt Liuzza doubled down the left field to score Nick Stavinoha and Michael Hollander.

In the bottom of the sixth, Alabama would take a 3-2 lead when shortstop Cale Iorg singled to score catcher Kody Valverde, who led off the inning with a double.

A two-run seventh inning would give LSU a 4-3 lead when left fielder Ryan Patterson slapped a two-run single to score Liuzza and Bruce Sprowl.

Alabama tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning when Iorg hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Thomley.

After 4 1/2 scoreless innings for both teams that resulted in a 4 hour and 30 minute game, the longest of the season, it was Bama that finally came out on top after Bush's game winning RBI in the bottom of the 13th.

Jordan Faircloth (1-1) took the loss for LSU.

Alabama outhit the Tigers 14-11. Salem and Bush had three hits apiece, while Thomley and Valverde had two hits each.

Stavinoha and Liuzza had three hits each for LSU, including two doubles apiece. Of LSU's 11 hits, six were doubles.

Alabama (16) and LSU (15) left 31 men on base in the marathon game.

Alabama improves to 22-9 overall and 6-3 in the SEC. The Crimson Tide leads the SEC Western Division after nine games and is tied with Florida for the overall SEC lead after three weekends.

LSU falls to 21-8 overall and 5-4 in the SEC. The Tigers are tied with Auburn and Ole Miss for second place in the SEC West.

The Tide returns to "The Joe" Wednesday, April 6 as they host the Southeastern Louisiana Lions in a 6:30 p.m. game. UA returns to SEC play next weekend as they take on the No. 6 Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford, the first of two straight weekends on the road. Alabama is at No. 7 Florida in two weeks.

GAME NOTES:

*Alabama notched its first series win over LSU since 1999 with a 5-4, 13-inning victory in the rubber game of the series on Sunday afternoon. The Crimson Tide won the series opener on Friday night with a 4-0 shutout win.

*Alabama had not won series against the Tigers since taking two series during the 1999 season. The Crimson Tide won two of three in the regular season in Tuscaloosa and then swept the Tigers in the NCAA Super Regional to advance to the College World Series for the third time in four years.

*LSU has lost back-to-back SEC series for the first time since 2002 when it dropped consecutive series to Vanderbilt (home) and Ole Miss (away). The Tigers lost two of three at Alabama this weekend after losing two of three at home last weekend to Auburn.

*The Alabama-LSU game equalled the longest game of the season in terms of innings. Alabama and Vanderbilt played a 13-inning game in Nashville on March 26 with the Commodores posting a 4-3 win.

*The Alabama-LSU game was the longest of the season by Alabama in terms of game time. The Crimson Tide and Tigers played their 13-inning game in 4 1/2 hours on Sunday.

*In addition, the 4 1/2 hour game is the longest game in the modern era of Alabama baseball in terms of time of game.

*Alabama snapped a six-game losing streak in extra inning games on Sunday with its 5-4 win over LSU. Alabama had lost both extra inning games this season and had not won an extra inning game since beating South Carolina 10-6 in 13 innings on March 29, 2002 at Sarge Frye Field in Columbia.

*The 13-inning game was the longest at Sewell-Thomas Stadium since Feb. 26, 1995 when Northeast Louisiana beat Alabama 6-4 in 13 innings. NE Louisiana was coached by Smoke Laval in that game. Laval is now the head coach at LSU.

*Alabama (16) and LSU (15) combined for 31 runners left on base in the game. The 16 LOBs by Alabama missed the school record by two. The Crimson Tide stranded 17 base runners in an SEC Tournament win over Arkansas on May 20, 1995.

*Alabama (2-for-11) and LSU (3-for-14) were a combined 5-for-25 on Sunday with runners in scoring position. Alabama was 2-for-25 with runners in scoring position in the series with LSU and won two games.

*Freshman RHP David Robertson made his second start of the season and first career SEC start today against LSU. The Tuscaloosa native worked 6 1/3 innings and allowed five hits, four runs and three earned runs, with two walks and seven strikeouts.

*Junior RHP Jordan Davis pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings out of the pen for his third win of the season. Davis allowed five hits and struck out four in the win. Davis' 6 2/3 innings are the most by an Alabama reliever this season. Robertson pitched 6 1/3 innings out of the pen and took the loss in the 4-3, 13-inning defeat at Vanderbilt on March 26.

*Davis entered the game with two runners on base and a one-run deficit in the seventh inning and stranded both inherited runners. For the season, Davis has stranded 13 of 16 inherited runners.

*Junior 1B Evan Bush (3-for-5, RBI) drove in the winning run with an RBI single to score sophomore CF Emeel Salem in the bottom of the 13th inning. It was Bush's sixth game-winning RBI of the season and second of the weekend against LSU. He plated the winning run Friday night with a first inning sacrifice fly in the Tide's 4-0 win in the series opener.

*Salem (3-for-7, R) and senior 3B Rocky Scelfo (1-for-7) both had a career-high seven at-bats in the win. The seven ABs missed the UA single-game record by one.

*Junior LF Gabe Scott (1-for-5) extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a fourth-inning single. The 18-game hitting streak is the longest by Alabama since Travis Garner posted a pair of 18-game streaks in the 2002 season.

*Senior RF Morrow Thomley (2-for-5, HR, RBI) hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, his third of the year. The home run ended an 0-for-11 slump at the plate.

*Alabama has homered in three straight SEC games for the first time this season. UA homered in four straight games against Miami (Ohio) and Butler (Mar. 11-16, 2005) earlier this season.


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