LSU-Alabama: Tigers Roll Tide In Series Opener

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IApril 11, 2009

It wasn't pretty and neither team dominated the game, but in the end, the No. 2 ranked LSU Fighting Tigers scratched and clawed their way to an 8-5 victory over the No. 29 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

The game was played at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

With the win, LSU's record improves to 25-8 overall and 9-4 in SEC play.

The Tigers led the game by a score of 2-1 until the seventh inning, when LSU righthanded pitcher Paul Bertuccini gave up an RBI to the nation's homerun hitting leader, Kent Matthes, which was just short of being a grand slam.

Alabama first baseman Brandon May then slammed a three run homer over the left field wall to give the Crimson Tide a 5-2 lead over the Tigers.

In the top of the eighth inning, Leon Landry scored a run on a single, and then a three base error after Alex Kubal missed the ball in what should have been an in the park homerun.

Jared Mitchell and Ryan Schimph then hit back to back singles. LSU designated hitter Blake Dean then hit an infied RBI and brought Mitchell home to cut Bama's lead to 5-4.

LSU first baseman Sean Ochinko was retired by the Tide to end the inning.

Alabama failed to score in the bottom of the eighth, and LSU came to bat in the top of the ninth.

LSU catcher Micah Gibbs reached second after hitting a double.

With two down and with Gibbs on third, Alabama shortstop Josh Rutledge charged and dropped a hit by Mikie Mahtook allowing Mahtook to reach first base and Gibbs to reach home plate to score the tying run.

LSU third baseman Tyler Hanover was walked, and then Jared Mitchell hit a double to score Mahtook and Hanover.

Schimph, who had led off the inning, hit an RBI single to score Mitchell and to bring the game to its final score of 8-5.

In the bottom of the ninth, Bama struck out, flied out, and was tagged out at first base by Ochinko.

The game was the first in a three game weekend SEC series between the two teams.

Saturday's game begins at 6:06 PM and will be televised by Cox Sports Television and Comcast Sports South. The game can be heard on LSU Sports Radio Network.