Tide takes advantage of LSU miscues

HOOVER, Ala.—The Alabama Crimson Tide won their seventh Southeastern Conference tournament title beating the LSU Tigers 10-3 on Sunday. Alabama (37-22) became the lowest seed in the history of the Southeastern Conference tournament to capture the title as the Tide entered the week as the number seven seed. <br><br> Having taken advantage of opposing team's mistakes throughout the tournament, it was the Tigers (40-19-1) turn to make the mistakes as they committed a season-high five errors.

The errors offset another solid performance at the plate as five Tigers had at least two hits and LSU equaled Alabama output at the plate with 12 total hits.


The Tide got on the board first as in the second inning they scored three unearned runs. After retiring the first two batters, LSU starter Justin Meier walked second baseman Allen Rice. Third baseman and number nine hitter Evan Bush then reached on a throwing error by Ivan Naccarata to put two runners on. Rice would score on the next pitch as centerfielder Travis Garner reached on Naccarata's second error of the inning.


After walking shortstop Adam Pavkovich, unanimous tournament MVP Beau Hearod launched a two-run double off the left-field wall to give Alabama a 3-0 lead.


Meier (7-3) was frustrated after giving up three runs after retiring the first two Alabama hitters.


"It's real frustrating," Meier said. "It's even more frustrating when you get two quick outs and you start the next batter out with a walk and then we had a couple of errors. Alabama just took advantage of our mistakes."


The Tide would score six runs late off of embattled Tiger closer Billy Sadler in route to the 10-3 victory.

LSU head coach Smoke Laval said Alabama did what it had to do to come away with the victory.


"We just got beat by a better club today," Laval said. "The only thing I wasn't pleased with was we didn't defend the field well today. We swung the bats hard enough; we had some loud outs and pitched well enough.

Other than that Alabama just played better than us. Alabama is going to be a dangerous team the next couple of weeks."


Alabama left-hander Jeffery Norris (6-2) was brilliant on the mound for the Tide as in five and one-third innings of work he gave up only one run on nine hits and struck out four while walking two.


Having been named a host site for a sub-regional, Laval said it is going to be nice to finally be able to play back in Alex Box Stadium.


"It's going to be nice to finally be playing at home," Laval said. "It's going to be nice to get our legs back under us and be able to sleep in our own beds."


Laval also believes that the Tigers have secured a top eight national seed.


"I think they way this team played well this season, capturing the SEC title and I really didn't think we had to play well in the tournament. I don't know how many Super Regionals the SEC will get, but it's either us or Auburn and I think we did enough."


LSU's lone representative on the All-Tournament team, shortstop Aaron Hill agreed with his coach's assessment.


"We are looking forward to finally playing a game at home," Hill said. "I think the fans are really going to appreciate us coming back. We haven't seen them since we captured the SEC. It's going to be a warm welcome and we're going to be excited to be back."

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