The University of Alabama baseball team made things dramatic in the bottom of the ninth inning on Sunday but couldn’t complete the comeback.

Crimson Tide designated hitter Keith Holcombe struck out with the bases loaded and the potential tying run on third base as Alabama’s comeback fell short, allowing LSU to take a 5-4 win in the rubber game of the three-game SEC series at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Alabama had trailed 5-1 after four innings but scored single runs in the fifth, eighth and ninth innings before falling short.

“Obviously, this was a really tough loss,” Alabama coach Brad Bohannon said. “I really hurt for our guys and I was really proud of the bullpen for giving us a chance to scratch back.”

Alabama fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first inning on an RBI double by LSU shortstop Josh Smith. The Crimson Tide loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the inning but scored only once as first baseman Drew Williamson drew an RBI walk after the preceding two batters struck out on three pitches each.

“That’s kind of been the story for us offensively in SEC play,” Bohannon said. “We’ve just been incredibly inefficient. We had some terrible at-bats in the first two innings when we had the chance to score some runs and get into their bullpen.”

LSU (29-16, 13-8 SEC) snapped the 1-1 tie as catcher Saul Garza, the No. 9 hitter in the Tiger order, led off the third inning with a home run. Daniel Cabrera of LSU then matched that, leading off the fourth inning with a home run as the Tigers went on to score three runs in the frame.

Alabama’s comeback started with Morgan McCullough’s RBI single in the bottom of the fifth. Tyler Gentry added a leadoff home run in the eighth inning, his 10th of the season, trimming the deficit to 5-3.

In the bottom of the ninth, Joe Breaux led off and was hit by a pitch. After a fielder’s choice by Kolby Robertson, Crimson Tide catcher Brett Auerbach singled, his third hit of the game. T.J. Reeves walked and McCullough’s ground out to second base scored Robertson.

Gentry was hit by a pitch to load the bases but LSU reliever Devin Fontenot struck out Holcombe to earn the save.

Alabama (26-19, 5-16 SEC) will travel to Auburn for an SEC series beginning on Friday.

Reach Cecil Hurt at cecil@tidesports.com or 205-722-0225.

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