Baseball Falls to LSU 10-6 to Open Series
May 6, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama baseball team fell for just the sixth time at home this season, dropping a 10-6 decision to the LSU Tigers on Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. With the loss, the Crimson Tide stands at 28-20 (10-12 SEC) while LSU improves to 30-17 (8-14 SEC).
Alabama surrendered 14 hits to the Tigers, as LSU built a 10-1 lead after five innings. The Crimson Tide pounded out 12 hits of its own, as eight of the nine Crimson Tide batters notched at least one base knock, however the early deficit was too much for Alabama to overcome.
The Tigers chased UA starting pitcher Nathan Kilcrease (5-4) after just 1.2 innings of work - the shortest start of his career. The senior right-hander allowed four runs on five hits with three walks and one strikeout, throwing 58 total pitches in the process. LSU's Kurt McCune (6-3) earned the victory, giving up 10 hits over 7.0 innings while allowing five runs, four of which were earned, with five strikeouts.
"For the first time in an SEC game, I thought we just didn't get a quality start," UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "We just couldn't get them out for the first five innings. It's hard to generate any energy and momentum when they are getting hits and scoring runs. You look up and they got a 10 spot after five innings. We just were never able to recover."
Alabama junior center fielder Taylor Dugas finished the night 3-for-5, including two doubles, with two runs scored while junior shortstop Jared Reaves recorded a 2-for-5 night at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored. Reaves belted his third home run of the season and has now homered in back-to-back games. Senior catcher Brock Bennett ended his night 2-for-4 with one run scored and a stolen base.
For LSU, Trey Watkins, Mason Katz and JaCoby Jones were all 3-for-4 from the plate. Katz finished the night with four RBI.
The Tigers struck first, notching one run in the top of the first inning on a bases-loaded walk before scoring three runs in the second and one in the third to take an early 5-0 lead.
"That's been our formula; quality starting pitching," Gaspard added. "For one of the first nights this year we didn't pitch it real well in the front part of the game. We've got to bounce back and do that tomorrow."
Alabama got a run back in the bottom half of the third after senior second baseman Josh Sanders scored courtesy of a wild pitch from McCune. Sanders led off the inning with a single then advanced to third on a double by Dugas.
The Tigers added one run in the fourth and four more in the fifth to take a 10-1 lead before Alabama added a run in the bottom of the sixth on Reaves' home run, a solo shot over the left field wall.
The Crimson Tide made things interesting late, scoring three runs in the eighth and one in the ninth but could not rally all the way back, as they got within four run (10-6) before the night was over.
Alabama and LSU will square off again at 3:06 p.m. on Saturday, and the game will be televised on CSS. UA will start junior lefty Adam Morgan (4-4, 4.30 ERA) and LSU will counter with freshman right-handed pitcher Kevin Gausman (3-5, 4.36 ERA).