The University of Alabama baseball team got the pitching performance it needed to snap its long SEC losing streak on Saturday. The Crimson Tide just couldn’t muster the one timely hit to make the pitching pay off.
Alabama couldn’t score a run after the fourth inning and fell to visiting LSU in the finale of a three-game series at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, losing 4-3 in 11 innings. The loss dropped Alabama to 15-29 overall, 2-19 in SEC play and was the Crimson Tide’s 13th straight SEC loss.
LSU (30-15, 13-8 SEC) scored the winning run on an RBI single by catcher Michael Papierski in the top of the 11th.
Alabama starter Jake Walters allowed a two-run homer to LSU’s Greg Deichmann in the top of the first inning. Alabama answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Chandler Taylor and an RBI double by Cody Henry to knot the game at 2-2.
“If I could take back one hanging breaking ball (to Deichmann), I would,” Walters said. “That could have changed the game. I felt good out there today, especially with my cutter.”
Walters worked into the eight inning, allowing LSU just three more hits.
Alabama took a 3-2 lead in the fourth when Sam Finnerty hit into a bases-loaded double play, scoring Henry from third base but scuttling the chances for a bigger inning. LSU tied the game at 3-3 in the seventh as Kramer Robertson reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored on a Jordan Romero single.
Alabama had base runners in the eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th innings while reliever Davis Vainer held LSU in check, but the Crimson Tide stranded five runners in that stretch. Vainer allowed the sole LSU run in the 11th and took the loss, falling to 0-3 on the season.
“We had a shot to win the game, but in baseball, you’ve got to come through in the clutch,“’said Alabama coach Greg Goff. “Our effort was good, our pitching was good but we came up short.
“I told our guys in the locker room that you are going to go through things like this (losing streak) in life,” Goff said. “The common man quits. The strong man goes through to his destination. Our destination is still in front of us.”
Reach Cecil Hurt at email@example.com or 205-722-0225.