After walking two men and giving up the winning home run in the ninth inning to LSU (16-12-1, 2-5-1 SEC) Friday night, Hunter came back Saturday and pitched two perfect innings to secure a 5-2 Alabama (18-11, 4-4 SEC) win and earn his third save.
Crimson Tide starting pitcher Bernard Robert (4-3) went deep into the game for the third time in three Southeastern Conference starts for the win, facing two batters in the eighth before Hunter came on.
"Bernard thew a helluva game," Hunter said. "I was just glad to get him the win."
Alabama coach Jim Wells went back to Hunter even after three consecutive unsucessful outings dating back to last weekend.
"He had to," Wells said. "He came back and pitched a lot better. It was like deja vu all over again. It was a similar score and similar guys coming up to bat. You had to go to him, it was just a matter of when.
"There was no one else."
LSU used a total of six pitchers and the loss went to Jared Bradford (4-2), who was the fourth pitcher of the game. He gave up two runs, three hits and a walk, facing seven batters in one inning of work.
Alabama freshman Jake Smith drove in the decisive runs in the sixth inning with a first-pitch, two-out single looped over the left side of the infield. Because of an aching knee, however, Smith was replaced in the field when he failed to come up with a ground ball to his left which allowed the second man in the inning to reach.
Alabama had 12 hits, but also left 12 men stranded. Bama loaded the bases in the fourth with no one out but only managed to score one run and left them loaded.
"It really does (concern me)," Wells said. "In tight games we don't have the same swings. We've got to learn how to handle the pressure cooker a little bit better. Jake did that, but it seems like we've had a lot of wasted opportunities tonight."
Robert spread nine hits through seven innings allowing just two runs (one earned) on 127 pitches.
Bama and LSU will play the rubber game with Brandon Belcher expected to start on the mound for Alabama. Belcher last pitched on February 10, Alabama's opening weekend of play, and was SEC Pitcher of the Week for that week.