May 11, 2014
BATON ROUGE, La. - Behind a complete-game performance from left handed pitcher Justin Kamplain, the No. 19 Alabama Crimson Tide defeated No. 6 LSU Tigers, 5-1, to even the Southeastern Conference series on Saturday night from Alex Box Stadium. The Tide also got a pair of two-run home runs from Ben Moore and Georgie Salem to power the Tide to the victory.
"I'm proud of our guys, it was a long day and our guys responded just like we wanted them to," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "Kamplain was tremendous tonight and gave us a great start, and we made some nice defensive plays behind him. To come back after the split doubleheader and the long rain delay, our guys kept their focus."
Alabama (32-19, 14-12 SEC) and LSU (36-14-1, 14-11-1 SEC) will play game three of the SEC series on Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. CT from Alex Box Stadium. The game will be televised on CSS and ESPN3 with Matt Stewart and Ronnie Rantz calling the action. Alabama will start RHP Geoffrey Bramblett (4-1, 3.71) and the Tigers will start LHP Jared Poche (6-2, 2.58).
For the second time in the series, the Alabama starting pitcher went the distance, as Kamplain (5-3) tossed his first career complete game to get the win. Kamplain allowed four hits with three strikeouts and no walks. Of the 27 outs recorded by Kamplain, 20 came on fly outs.
"Kamplain threw 98 pitches and it was a very impressive outing for him," Gaspard said. "He had a three-pitch mix going and the biggest thing was he attacked the strike zone. He was in control of the game from the first pitch and stayed with it for a tremendous outing."
Against six LSU pitchers, the Alabama offensive had eight hits that included a pair of two-run home runs from Moore and Salem. Moore was 1-for-4 with two RBI and Salem had a 2-for-5 performance with two RBI and two runs scored. Mikey White was 2-for-4 with a run scored from the leadoff spot, Wade Wass reached base three times in four plate appearances with a single and he was hit by a pitch twice and Austen Smith was 1-of-3 with a walk and an RBI.
"We played a little long-ball tonight, as Ben got us off to a good start with the two run homer, then we got another two-run homer from Salem," Gaspard said. "We swung the bats well and I thought we completed well all day long. I was happy for our team. We needed a big win and responded tonight and got one."
Kamplain gave up a solo home run to Chris Chinea in the fifth inning for the only run of the game by the Tigers. Jared Foster had a double and both Conner Hale and Danny Zardon singled for LSU.
After a three-hour rain delay, and first pitch coming at 10 p.m. CT, Alabama didn't waste much time to get on the scoreboard, scoring three times in the top of the first. After a Salem one-out single, Moore hit his team leading eighth home run of the season to left field off LSU starter and losing pitcher Alden Cartwright (1-1). The Tide added another run in the inning when Smith drove in Kyle Overstreet, who reached on an error, from second on a single to left field.
"You need something to energize you a bit after sitting around for three hours waiting for the start of the game," Gaspard said. "It showed that our team was ready to play. From the first inning on, we were on the barrel there for about the first four innings."
The Tide extended their lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning when Salem homered to right field off Parker Bugg, who was the third LSU pitcher of the game. It was the second home run of the season and third of the career for Salem.
The Tigers got on the board in the fifth inning, when Chinea led off the inning with a solo shot to left. LSU opened the bottom of the seventh inning with singles by Hale and Zardon, but Kamplain got a double play and a pop out to end the inning without allowing a run.
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