May Ignites Tide Past LSU, 13-5

Alabama senior designated hitter Brandon May went 4-for-4 with four RBI, including back-to-back two-out hits in the fifth and sixth innings, leading No. 29 Alabama to a 13-5 win over No. 2 LSU in front of a season-high 5,655 fans at Sewell-Thomas Stadium on Saturday night.

Brandon May, a Marietta, Ga., native recorded his ninth career four-hit game and third of the 2009 season in the win over LSU. He also drove in four runs and reached base in all five plate appearances.

"It was fun," May said after the game. "I really want to thank the fans. They really supported us. It was good to get the win."

May gave the Crimson Tide the lead for good with a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the fifth inning off LSU starter Austin Ross. He then broke the game open with another two-out hit in the Tide's five-run sixth inning that put the Tide in front 9-2.

Trailing 2-1 in the fifth, May's two-out single to left to score sophomore second baseman Ross Wilson and senior right fielder Kent Matthes put Tide ahead for good at 3-2. Wilson and Matthes reached on two-out walks. May's single to left gave the Tide a 3-2 lead.

Ross (4-4) allowed three runs and six hits in five innings and left throwing more than 100 pitches. He struck out five and walked four.

Alabama (22-11, 7-7 SEC) blew the game open with a five-run sixth inning, capped by three straight two-out hits by Matthes, May and junior third baseman Jake Smith.

Senior catcher Vin DiFazio drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on senior center fielder Tyler Odle's sacrifice bunt. Senior first baseman Wes Henderson, who had three hits, three RBI and scored three runs, followed with an RBI single to give UA a 4-2 lead. Freshman Taylor Dugas singled to right to extend his hitting streak to 23 games and sophomore shortstop Josh Rutledge walked to load the bases.

After Wilson struck out, the Tide rapped three straight two-out hits to take a 9-2 lead. Matthes delivered a two-run single to left and May followed with his second two-out hit in as many innings to push the lead to 8-2. Smith capped the inning with an RBI single to center to give the Tide a seven-run lead.

"We definitely took advantage of hitting with runners in scoring position and hitting with two outs," May said. "I think we took advantage of every opportunity we got."

LSU (25-9, 9-6 SEC) threatened in the top of the seventh inning with three straight hits by Micah Gibbs, DJ LeMahieu and Blake Dean to close the gap to 9-3. Dean's RBI single put runners at the corners with no outs, before UA starter Del Howell struck out Derek Helenihi for the first out. Nicholas Pontiff walked to load the bases before Howell got out of trouble with back-to-back strikeouts of Tyler Hanover and Jared Mitchell as LSU left the bases loaded. "It was a good game, much better than last night," Alabama Coach Jim Wells said. "Howell was good. He made some key pitches, especially in the seventh."

Alabama's offense added to the lead in the bottom of the seventh with two unearned runs to take an 11-2 lead. Rutledge had an RBI single in the inning.

The Tigers scored two more runs in the eighth to cut the lead to 11-5 and chase Howell from the game. Buzzy Haydel had an RBI single and Dean drove in a run with a ground out. Dean had two hits and four RBI for the Tigers.

Howell (4-1) gave up five runs and 10 hits in seven-plus innings for his fourth win of the season. He also added nine strikeouts and walked two in his 111-pitch performance.

Alabama added two more runs in the eighth on an RBI double by Odle and RBI single by Henderson to make the final 13-5.

Henderson started the bottom of the third inning with a solo home run to right center field. It was his third home run of the season.

LSU took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning on Dean's two-run home run. LeMahieu led off the inning with an infield single and scored on Dean's third home run of the season.

May then jump started the Tide offense with his big night at the plate, collecting two hits and four RBI in the fifth and sixth innings.

The Crimson Tide and Tigers will close out this three-game series on Sunday at 2:06 p.m. (CDT). The game will be televised by Cox Sports Television and Comcast Sports South. Tickets for Sunday's game will go on sale at noon (CDT) at the Sewell-Thomas Stadium box office.

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