BATON ROUGE, La. - Sophomore Kevin Gausman worked eight innings to earn his sixth win of the year Friday night, and No. 3 LSU erupted for six runs in the fourth inning to break open a close game as the Tigers posted a 10-2 win over Alabama in Alex Box Stadium.
LSU, which won for the 11th time in 12 games, improved to 28-7 overall and 9-4 in the SEC. The Tigers are tied with Kentucky for first place in the overall SEC race.
Alabama fell to 13-21 overall and 4-9 in the league with Friday's loss.
The teams resume the series at 6:30 p.m. CT Saturday as sophomore right-hander Ryan Eades will start on the mound for LSU. Alabama will counter with freshman left-hander Justin Kamplain.
Saturday's game will be broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network, and it will be televised by Cox Sports Television. Live video, audio and stats will be available at www.LSUsports.net.
Gausman (6-1) limited Alabama to two runs on six hits in eight innings Friday night with two walks and seven strikeouts. The Tigers' collected nine hits, including a three-run homer by rightfielder Mason Katz in the first inning and a grand slam by shortstop Austin Nola in the fourth.
Alabama starter Trey Pilkington (1-3) was charged with the loss as he allowed eight runs on five hits in 3.2 innings with three walks and two strikeouts.
|SEC Weekend Schedule|
|All Times Central and Subject to Change
Georgia def. Ole Miss, 8-4
Florida def. Tennessee, 3-1
Georgia def. Ole Miss, 6-3
Vanderbilt def. Auburn, 5-4
South Carolina def. Mississippi St., 7-6
Arkansas def. Kentucky, 8-7
LSU def. Alabama, 10-2
Ole Miss at Georgia, 1 p.m.
Auburn at Vanderbilt, 2 p.m.
Florida at Tennessee, 2 p.m. (SportSouth)
Kentucky at Arkansas, 2 p.m. (G2)
Mississippi St. at South Carolina, 3 p.m.
Kentucky at Arkansas, 5:30 p.m. (G3)
Alabama at LSU, 6:30 p.m. (CST/Geaux Zone)
Alabama at LSU, noon (ESPN2)
Mississippi St. at South Carolina, 12:30 p.m.
Florida at Tennessee, 1 p.m.
Auburn at Vanderbilt, 1 p.m.
"I thought we played very well in all phases of the game tonight," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "I had a feeling at practice yesterday that we would play well tonight, but we have to continue this momentum throughout the weekend. Kevin Gausman got off to a slow start, but he was tremendous near the end of his outing. He threw his best pitches over the last couple of innings he was on the mound. We got the big hits from Katz and Nola, and again we played great defense with an errorless night."
Alabama broke out on top in the first inning when centefielder Taylor Dugas tripled and scored on catcher Brett Booth's single.
LSU responded, however, in the bottom of the first when Katz launched a three-run homer, his seventh dinger of the year.
The Crimson Tide narrowed the gap to 3-2 in the third on shortstop Jared Reaves' RBI single, but the Tigers scored a run in the bottom of the frame when Katz walked, stole second base and scored on designated hitter Raph Rhymes' single.
The Tigers exploded for six runs in the fourth as the uprising was highlighted by Nola's grand slam, his first homer of the season and the second grand slam of his career. The inning also featured an RBI single by centefielder Arby Fields and a bases-loaded walk to Rhymes.
LSU left-hander Chris Cotton relieved Gausman to start the ninth inning and retired the side in order, recording a strikeout to end the game.
LSU 10, Alabama 2 (Apr 13, 2012 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Alabama............. 101 000 000 - 2 6 0 (13-21, 4-9 SEC)
LSU.................... 301 600 00X - 10 9 0 (28-7, 9-4 SEC)
Pitchers: Alabama - Trey Pilkington; Taylor Guilbeau(4); Ian Gardeck(7); Case Nixon(8) and
Brett Booth. LSU - Kevin Gausman; Chris Cotton(9) and Ty Ross; Jordy Snikeris.
Win-Kevin Gausman(6-1) Loss-Trey Pilkington(1-3) T-2:19 A-11009
HR LSU - Mason Katz (7); Austin Nola (1).
Actual Attendance: 8,156