Hale's heroics in 16-inning marathon lift LSU past SEC rival Alabama
HOOVER, Ala. -- Third baseman Conner Hale lined a two-run triple in the top of the 16th inning to lift No. 5 LSU to an 8-5 win against Alabama in marathon that lasted nearly six hours and ended on Friday morning at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
LSU improved to 25-5 overall and 6-4 in the SEC as it played the fourth 16-inning game in its history. Alabama dropped to 15-13 overall and 4-6 in conference play. The teams resume the series on Friday.
With the game tied at 5-5 in the top of the 16th, LSU second baseman Jared Foster led off with a walk from Alabama reliever J.C. Wilhite. Foster stole second base and he moved to third on rightfielder Mark Laird’s sacrifice bunt. Shortstop Alex Bregman was intentionally walked before Hale ripped a triple into left field, scoring Foster and Bregman.
Catcher Michael Papierski lifted a sacrifice fly to score Hale and increase LSU’s lead to 8-5.
LSU reliever Doug Norman (2-1) pitched the final three innings to earn the win, allowing no runs on three hits with no walks and one strikeout. Wilhite (0-1) was charged with the loss as he surrendered three runs on two hits in 2.2 innings, with five walks and no strikeouts.
Both starting pitchers delivered exceptional outings -- LSU lefthander Jared Poche' worked eight innings and gave up just one run on three hits with two walks and six strikeouts; Alabama lefthander Taylor Guilbeau allowed just two runs on five hits in eight innings with three walks and five strikeouts.
“It was just a tremendous team win,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri.
“We faced several very difficult situations, and guys stepped up and made big plays at critical times. Poche' was magnificent, but we couldn’t score any runs for him. Finally, we break through in the ninth and we continued to battle against a very tough Alabama team before we finally are able to get the win.”
Alabama shortstop Mikey White gave the Crimson Tide a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with a solo homer, his third of the season.
LSU scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to take a 2-1 lead. Shortstop Alex Bregman doubled to lead off the frame and moved to third on third baseman Conner Hale’s single. Catcher Kade Scivicque singled to right field to score Bregman and advance Hale to third, before Hale scored on center fielder Andrew Stevenson’s sacrifice fly.
Alabama, however, tied the game in the bottom of the ninth against LSU closer Jesse Stallings. Center fielder Georgie Salem led off the inning with a triple and scored on White’s sacrifice fly.
LSU regained the lead in the 11th as Hale reached on a fielding error by second baseman Kyle Overstreet to start the inning. After Scivicque flied out and Stevenson struck out, Chinea launched a homer to right center field to give LSU a 4-2 advantage.
Alabama responded with two runs in the bottom of the 11th, taking advantage of a bases-loaded walk and a balk charged to reliever Parker Bugg.
The Tigers again took the lead in the top of the 13th when Stevenson singled and scored on a double by leftfielder Beau Jordan. The Crimson Tide tied the game again on an RBI single by second baseman Kyle Overstreet.