TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Kyle Overstreet lined a two-out bloop single into centerfield scoring the winning run from third as Alabama salvaged the final game of its three-game series against the second-ranked LSU baseball team, 4-3, in 10 innings on Sunday afternoon in Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
The Tigers lost for just the second time in 20 games, falling to 37-4 overall and 15-3 in Southeastern Conference play. LSU remains atop the SEC West standings, four games ahead of second-place Arkansas. A huge SEC homestand begins next weekend against South Carolina next Friday night in Alex Box Stadium.
Alabama (24-18, 9-9 SEC) desperately needed Sunday’s contest, snapping a five-game SEC losing streak and moving back to .500 in conference play. The Tide were previously 0-4 in extra-inning games, including last night’s 16-inning marathon that saw the Tigers prevail 11-8 after plating three runs in the top of the 16th. Sunday was LSU’s first extra inning loss of the season after previously being 4-0.
“It was very uncharacteristic of us today because our defense really let us down,” said LSU head coach Paul Mainieri. “We basically gave them all of the runs they got. It was really a shame too because Cody Glenn pitched a tremendous game. He pitched his heart out and deserved a better fate than that. We didn’t do the things that we have been doing all year from a fundamentals standpoint.”
Three of Alabama’s four runs were unearned as LSU committed an uncharacteristic three errors. Tiger starter Cody Glenn was effective in his no-decision start, allowing only one earned one on four hits in eight innings with no walks and four strikeouts. Glenn retired the first nine batters of the game before the Tide scratched across two runs in the fourth.
Georgie Salem sent a one-out double to the gap and took third when second baseman JaCoby Jones committed a fielding error on Overstreet’s groundball. Ben Moore atoned for the mistake with an RBI single to left and the Tide added another on Austen Smith’s single.
Alabama ace pitcher Spencer Turnbull, who had only allowed three runs in in his last 40 innings pitched, allowed a one-out single to Christian Ibarra in the fifth with the Tide up 2-0. LSU finally broke through on Ty Ross’ sharp single through the left side, scoring Ibarra.
Two innings later, the Tigers tied it on Chris Sciambra’s double-play grounder that brought home Rhymes, who was hit by a pitch to start the frame. Alabama immediately regained the lead in its half of the seventh. Booth reached first on Ibarra’s error and came around to score on Mikey White’s single to left field.
With LSU down to three outs in the top of the ninth, the Tigers forced extra innings for the second time in less than 13 hours. Mason Katz got things started when he greeted reliever Jon Keller with a single to left. Ibarra then deposited a double over the right fielder’s head to put runners at second and third. Sciambra knotted the game at three apiece on his sacrifice fly into the left field corner that nearly dropped for a hit.
LSU, playing back-to-back extra inning SEC regular season games for the first time since 2008, was unable to get a run home in the top of the 10th. The Tide instead took advantage of LSU’s third error when Ibarra misplayed a bunt by Andrew Miller with one out. Tiger reliever Joey Bourgeois nearly got out of the jam. After the bases were intentionally loaded to set up a force, he got two-hole hitter Georgia Salem to pop out to shallow centerfield.
With two outs, though, Overstreet dropped a shallow single in front of Laird in centerfield that allowed the winning run to scamper home.
Bourgeois (2-1) suffered the tough-luck loss, despite not allowing an earned run in 1.2 innings.
Tide reliever Keaton Haack (1-1), who worked a scoreless 10th, was credited with the win.
LSU returns to action when it takes on Tulane at 6:30 p.m. CT Wednesday in Alex Box Stadium. The game will be televised by Cox Sports Television (HD cable channel 1037 in Baton Rouge).
“We are going to take a day off tomorrow and get back to things Tuesday,” said Mainieri. “We are going to tighten things up a bit and get more focused.”