Early Runs Help Alabama Baseball to 6-1 Win over 14th-Ranked LSU on Friday
Alabama baseball used a complete team effort to come away with a 6-1 win over 14th-ranked LSU on Friday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Following the series opener, the Crimson Tide is 26-17 on the season, including a 5-14 mark in Southeastern Conference play.
“This was a great team win,” said Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon. “I was really excited to see us throw the first punch tonight. T.J. (Reeves) and Tyler (Gentry) came out and hit those home runs early, and we kept our foot on the pedal. (Sam) Finnerty was awesome, and Chase Lee and Brock Guffey each did a great job in relief. Obviously, we did a lot better offensively – we got 10 hits and had a lot of hard contact. It was just a really, really good win all the way around for us.”
The Crimson Tide got out front early thanks to a pair of solo home runs in the first. Alabama then recorded single marks in the second, third, fifth and seventh innings to build a six-run lead. LSU was able to scratch across one in the top of the ninth, but that was all, as the Crimson Tide secured the 6-1 win on opening night.
Sam Finnerty (6-5) picked up his sixth victory of the season thanks to another quality start. The senior tossed 6.0 scoreless frames, allowing five hits and issuing a walk while striking out six Tiger batters. Finnerty then handed it over to the bullpen with the duo of redshirt freshman Chase Lee and sophomore Brock Guffey working the final 3.0 innings to secure the win.
Eight of the nine Tide starters on offense reached base safely on Friday night, paced by Brett Auerbach. The junior finished a perfect 4-for-4 with a team-leading two doubles and two RBI to go with one run scored. Fellow junior Morgan McCullough also recorded a pair of base knocks, going 2-for-4 with a run. The Crimson Tide’s two homers came from freshman T.J. Reeves and sophomore Tyler Gentry – both in the first inning.
The solo home runs helped Alabama take an early lead. First was Reeves, with the freshman sending one into the parking lot behind left field for his seventh homer of the season. One out later, Gentry bounced a ball off the top of the scoreboard, sending the 1-2 pitch out in a hurry for the Tide’s second run of the frame. The homer was Gentry’s team-leading ninth of the year and gave UA a 2-0 advantage.
Alabama added a single tally in the second, third and fifth to build a five-run lead. The third saw Auerbach lead things off with a double to left-center. The junior moved to third in the next at-bat when senior Joe Breaux dropped down a bunt single to put runners on the corners. A hit-by-pitch loaded them up before a sacrifice fly from junior John Trousdale crossed Auerbach.
In the third, Gentry came around to score on a two-out single from Auerbach to push the advantage to four. Alabama went up 5-0 in the fifth. McCullough began the run-scoring sequence, as the junior led things off with a single to left. One out later, a single from freshman Drew Williamson put two on before a third single, this one from Auerbach, loaded them up once again. Breaux then delivered the Tide’s fifth run of the night with a fielder’s choice to second, putting UA out front 5-0 through five full.
Alabama added one more in the seventh to make it a 6-0 game. A two-out walk from Williamson started the rally with a wild pitch advancing him to second. Auerbach brought the freshman in with his team-high fourth hit of the night – a double down the line in left to push the lead to six. The Tigers were able to get on the board in the ninth with an RBI-double, but a flyout to right ended things at 6-1 in favor of UA.
The two teams return to the diamond tomorrow afternoon for a 2 p.m. CT first pitch at The Joe. The matchup will feature a pair of right-handers, as the Crimson Tide will call on redshirt junior Brock Love in the start with the Tigers countering with Eric Walker, a sophomore. Fans can catch all the action live on SEC Network+.
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