Baseball Completes Sweep of Alabama, 5-1

LSU's Austin Nola (5-1) earned the victory.
LSU's Austin Nola (5-1) earned the victory.
Hilary Scheinuk
Bill Franques
Bill Franques
Communications Sr. Associate

BATON ROUGE, La. - Freshman right-hander Aaron Nola allowed just one run on three hits in five innings Sunday as third-ranked LSU completed a three-game sweep of Alabama with a 5-1 victory in Alex Box Stadium.

LSU, which won for the 13th time in 14 games, improved to 30-7 overall and 11-4 in the SEC. The Tigers are tied with Kentucky for first place in the Southeastern Conference standings, and LSU has a three-game lead in the SEC Western Division race.

Alabama dropped to 13-23 overall and 4-11 in the SEC with Sunday's loss.

Nola limited Alabama to one run on three hits as he fired 64 pitches in five innings, recording no walks and five strikeouts.

"Aaron Nola is a special pitcher with a lot of ability, and the future is so bright for that young man," LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. "You feel so confident as a coach with him on the mound, and he delivered another excellent outing for us today."

Nola allowed a first-inning solo homer to Alabama shortstop Jared Reaves, but the Tigers answered in the bottom of the frame when Nola's older brother, shortstop Austin Nola, lined a two-out run-scoring single to tie the game at 1-1.

The Tigers expanded the lead to 4-1 in the second inning as second baseman JaCoby Jones belted an RBI double, and centerfielder Arby Fields lined a two-run double to highlight the rally.

"Arby Fields has been an amazing story for us," Mainieri said. "He struggled at times in the fall and in the early portion of this season, but his work ethic has been incredible and he's earned the success he's enjoying now. It's great for him personally, and it's also great for our team because he's played such a vital role for us."

  SEC Overall
Kentucky 11-4 32-5
Florida 9-6 28-8
South Carolina 8-7 27-10
Georgia 7-8 22-14
Tennessee 7-8 21-15
Vanderbilt 6-9 16-20
LSU 11-4 30-7
Arkansas 8-7 25-10
Ole Miss 7-8 24-12
Auburn 7-8 19-16
Mississippi St. 5-10 21-15
Alabama 4-11 13-23
SEC Weekend Results
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 def. Georgia, 8-3
Auburn def. Vanderbilt, 5-2
Tennessee def. Florida, 5-4
Kentucky def. Arkansas, 5-4 (Game 2)
South Carolina def. Mississippi St., 5-3
Kentucky def. Arkansas, 2-1 (Game 3)
LSU def. Alabama, 7-1
LSU def. Alabama, 5-1
South Carolina def. Mississippi St., 6-4
Florida def. Tennessee, 8-1
Vanderbilt def. Auburn, 11-2

Fields is hitting .455 (10-for-22) in his last six games with one double, one triple, six RBI, seven runs, two steals and a .480 on-base percentage.

LSU added a run in the seventh when Jones singled, stole second base, moved to third on a Fields groundout and scored a on passed ball.

Alabama starter Jon Keller (1-3) was charged with the loss as he surrendered four runs on six hits in five innings with two walks and one strikeout.

"We're still only halfway through the SEC schedule," Mainieri said, "so we there are a lot of very tough games ahead of us. But, we are pleased to be in this position, and I feel like the team has been rounding into shape. I thought we really played well in all facets of the game this weekend, and we're looking forward to the second half of league play."

LSU 5, Alabama 1 (Apr 15, 2012 at Baton Rouge, La.)

Alabama............. 100 000 000  -  1  5  2      (13-23, 4-11 SEC)
LSU.................... 130 000 10X  -  5  9  0      (30-7, 11-4 SEC)

Pitchers: Alabama - Jon Keller; Jake Hubbard(6); Jay Shaw(8) and Ben Moore.
LSU - Aaron Nola; Joey Bourgeois(6); Kurt McCune(8); Nick Rumbelow(9) and Ty Ross.
Win-Aaron Nola(5-1)  Loss-Jon Keller(1-2)  T-2:12  A-10748
HR UA - Jared Reaves (3).
Actual Attendance: 6,581



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