| BSB/SB ⚾ Baseball Falls in High-Scoring Affair with Top-Ranked LSU, 13-11

Brandon Van de Graaff

A defensive deity, inventor of the Concussion.
Bama/LSU Series Preview

Bama heads to Baton Rouge for another 3 game series on the road starting tomorrow night. LSU is currently ranked #1 and sitting at 6-3 at home in SEC play (they have won each series 2-1). The Tigers are led by arguably the 2 best draftable prospects in college baseball this season... Friday night starter RHP Paul Skenes and OF Dylan Crews. Skenes touches 100 to go along with a nasty slider and changeup. Crews is a 5 tool player who does everything well. He's currently sitting on a .485 BA. Overall, LSU's hitting is tops in the league with a .320 team average (UA's is .308). Third baseman Tommy White is another highly projected draft pick who also swings a big bat but is working his way back from an injury, so maybe it'll lessen his impact some. About the only area LSU lacks on offense is speed, they don't steal a lot of bases... but they don't really have to/need to with their bats, so that is more strategy than lack of ability, IMO. Their team ERA is 4.26, good enough for 6th in the SEC (UA's is 3.77), but opposing hitters are batting just .217 against them. I will say while they have some really good arms, they are dealing with a couple of injuries too, and some of the other guys have been inconsistent. Around the diamond, they are also one of the better fielding teams in the league. To beat them, you have to make the most of opportunities... hitting with RISP, not giving away outs on the bases, moving runners when necessary, etc.

All things considered, I'd be happy with Alabama getting 1 win... but the Tide is going into this series playing as well as they've played as a team all season (especially in league play), so 1 win doesn't have to be the ceiling (it does need to be the floor). At the plate, freshman slugger Colby Shelton seems to have emerged from his midseason slump after readjusting to SEC pitchers. OF Andrew Pinckey's bat is picking back up too after a bit of a cool period that saw him dropped to the back part of the order for a spell. Drew Williamson, who had been swinging a hot bat all season, has had some struggles at the plate this month, but he too is showing signs of getting back on track. Caden Rose returning from injury has also given the offense a needed boost. It has taken a while, but the Tide offense is finally showing its potential, at a time it will be needed most.

On the mound, Bama has managed pretty well thus far with starters Grayson Hitt and Ben Hess on the shelf. But, it is certainly worth mentioning that navigating auburn and Missouri with those 2 out is completely different than navigating LSU and Vandy. The good news? The bullpen is deep and well rested. Any late lead has to feel pretty safe with the ball in the hands of freshman closer Alton Davis II, who has emerged in the last month as an absolute weapon on the back end.

SEC - East Standings

#3,South Carolina13-4.76534-624-18-5
#5 Vanderbilt13-5.72229-1119-56-4
#4 Florida11-7.61132-1024-68-4
#15 Kentucky11-7.61130-1020-410-6
#24 Tennessee8-10.44427-1425-41-9

SEC - West Standings
#1 LSU12-5.70632-822-58-2
#7 Arkansas11-7.61130-1125-33-7
Texas A&M9-9.50025-1617-106-5
Mississippi State6-12.33324-1715-94-6
Ole Miss3-15.16721-2014-115-8

Weekend Series Matchups
Mississippi State @ Tennessee
Texas A&M @ Arkansas
Alabama @ LSU
Kentucky @ Vanderbilt
Missouri @ Florida
auburn @ South Carolina
Georgia @ Ole Miss
LSU up 4-1, B4...

I mentioned that Bama's pen was well rested, and good thing for that, as they had to go with a bullpen start today on a last minute scratch to Holman. Hagan Banks got the start and went 3, Kade Woods relieved him. Pinckney had a solo shot for Bama to get the Tide on the board. Tide made Skenes throw a lot of pitches, even though he was effective as always... but good news is he may be done... certainly won't last much longer on his pitch count.
LSU wins 8-6, but Bama made it interesting in the 9th scoring 4 and had the go-ahead run (Shelton) at the plate (he struck out to end it). Tide outhit LSU 12-8 which was good to see... need that to carry over to tomorrow. Huge game for Pinckney... the most scouts he's played in front off all season and all he did was go 5-5 with a HR, 2B, and 3 singles (just missed a 2nd HR by about 2-3 inches).
LSU wins 8-6, but Bama made it interesting in the 9th scoring 4 and had the go-ahead run (Shelton) at the plate (he struck out to end it). Tide outhit LSU 12-8 which was good to see... need that to carry over to tomorrow. Huge game for Pinckney... the most scouts he's played in front off all season and all he did was go 5-5 with a HR, 2B, and 3 singles (just missed a 2nd HR by about 2-3 inches).
Disappointed, but there are two games left to win the series (not confident in that happening).
Scenes for the Corndogs was as advertised!! Electric stuff! Pitching control got to us and really helped them build their lead. We walked in 2 runs and gave them another in an HBP. Offense still gave us a chance even though they kept Jarvis off the bases. Great to see Pinckney have the game he did! Let’s get this one today!!

BATON ROUGE, La. – Alabama baseball suffered a 12-8 loss to No. 1 LSU on Saturday evening at Alex Box Stadium. The Crimson Tide is now 30-14 overall and 9-11 in Southeastern Conference play.

Alabama held the lead for the first half of the game, jumping out to a 2-0 advantage after the first, thanks in part to a Jim Jarvis solo homer to start the night. LSU was able to get one run in the bottom of the second, but the Tide came right back with a four-run third. The Tigers rallied for three in the home half of the third, but, once again, Alabama answered with one tally in the top of the fourth on a solo home run from Andrew Pinckney to make it a 7-4 ballgame.

Both teams were held scoreless in the fifth before a four-run bottom of the sixth moved LSU in front by one. The Tigers added one in the seventh to make it a 9-7 affair, but Alabama was able to cut the deficit to one with a run in the eighth. The Tide would get no closer as a three-run bottom of the eighth put things out reach for the eventual 12-8 final in the Tigers' favor.

The win went to LSU reliever Javen Coleman (1-0) with Thatcher Hurd claiming his first save of the year. Alabama reliever Alton Davis II (0-1) suffered the loss, giving up his first runs in a game since March 11.

From Head Coach Brad Bohannon

"I'm really proud of the way our kids came out ready to play, excited to play, and came out hot, but LSU is a great team. When you go on the road in front of 12,000 people against the No. 1 team in the country you've got to be flawless. We gave them five free baserunners with walks and HBPs and we made two errors. When you score eight, that's got to be enough to win."
Down Hess and Hitt going into the series, then lose Holman before his Friday night start... that's 3 of our top 4 SP's on the self. To be honest, while any of the 3 games were considered winnable, it was surprising to me that things weren't even worse (in terms of being completive). Being behind the 8 ball and having to use the pen in game 1 was a killer and they never really recovered from it. It forced more midweek type arms into the frying pan, facing a monster lineup anchored by a guy that's as close to MLB ready as any college hitter I've seen in a while. Will say I was not a fan of putting Furtado into game situation they put him in today... Jason Jackson, for reasons I'm unsure of, sees him as a high leverage arm in SEC play. I don't want to knock the kid, and the throws hard, but it's flat... it's basically batting practice to a squad like LSU. In fairness, our other guys didn't fare much better as a group. Regardless of the questionable moves, the guys still have to come in and throw strikes. I think a couple of guys were trying too hard not to make a mistake and it cost them anyway.

I was hoping for a CWS run, but that likely isn't happening. It's so disheartening seeing that we're capable of beating teams like LSU, or Arkansas.... and not finish.

I'm not predicting a CWS run, but if Bama can get Hitt and Holman back soon (as expected), it should make them a tough out in any regional as long as the bats stay hot. But you don't need to be top 4 in the SEC to make a CWS run... it just isn't comparable to other conferences. Just last year, Ole Miss had a 14-16 league record and took home the hardware.
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