Alabama Takes Baseball Series Finale
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama starting pitcher Jonathan Smart tossed eight-plus shutout innings and the Crimson Tide blanked the LSU baseball team for the second straight day to win its first series over the Tigers since 2005 by a score of 9-0 on Sunday afternoon in Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
LSU (30-19, 8-16 SEC) went the final 22 innings of the series without a run. The Tigers posted a four-run fifth inning on Friday night and went scoreless the remainder of the weekend thanks to two impressive pitching outings by Alabama, who improved to 30-20 overall and 12-12 in conference play.
Smart (4-1), who tossed one scoreless inning of relief to earn the save on Saturday, picked up right where he left off as he worked all the way into the ninth inning before exiting. The left-hander issued eight hits and no runs while walking two and striking out four. He finished with 119 pitches.
Tiger senior right-hander Ben Alsup (4-1) absorbed the loss, allowing seven runs on eight hits in two innings of work. He left after the second frame with LSU trailing 7-0. Right fielder Alex Edward went 2-for-3 to lead the Tigers at the plate.
Alsup issued two runs in the first when shortstop Jared Reaves connected for an RBI single and later came into score on Andrew Miller's run-scoring single. The big blow came in the second inning. After Taylor Dugas beat out an infield hit that scored a run, Reaves was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs. Designated hitter Austen Smith then crushed a grand slam over the left field wall that put the Tide in control 7-0 after two innings.
Joe Broussard came on in relief of Alsup in the third and in the fourth, Dugas connected for his third hit of the game with a solo shot over the right field wall. The Tide slugged its fourth homer of the weekend an inning later when third baseman Brett Booth launched his first shot of the year with one out off of Nick Rumbelow.
Smart made it into the ninth inning before running out of gas. Tyler Hanover and Austin Nola did not go quietly with sharp singles to the outfield. Right-hander Josh Rosecrans came in for the final out and got Grant Dozar to ground into a game-ending fielder's choice.
Dugas finished 3-of-5 with three runs and two RBI to lead Alabama. The Tigers left nine runners on base.
LSU hosts Tennessee in the final home series of the season next weekend in Alex Box Stadium. Game 1 is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday night and it will be televised by Cox Sports Television.