Tide two and out
By Vince Ferrara
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
Ala. - In Game 6 of the SEC Baseball Tournament at Regions Park,
the No. 1-seed LSU Tigers (42-16) stayed alive with a 9-6 win
over the No. 4-seed Alabama (37-19). The biggest fan draw of the
tournament (Alabama) is the second team eliminated (Ole Miss.)
Regional sites will be announced Sunday at approximately 2:30
p.m. CT and the NCAA Tournament bracket selection show will be
Monday at 11:30 a.m. CT on ESPN.
Ryan Schimpf (right) went 3 for 4 and Derek Helenihi had a
pinch-hit three-run home run in the seventh inning as LSU held
off Alabama. The Tigers also received another excellent start by
6-feet 7-inch right-hander Anthony Ranaudo (pictured below) (7.1
IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 114 P). LSU Head Coach Paul Mainieri
knew his team would bounce back from the Day 1 loss.
only lost two games in a row one time the whole year," Mainieri
said. "You know, we had a little team meeting and went over a
few things but it's all a matter of the kids. They hold each
Alabama did not get the usual strong start from Number 1 starter
Austin Hyatt (3 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 2 K, 77 P). The defense
didn't help, as Alabama committed three costly errors that led
to three runs, which happened to be the difference in the
score. The Crimson Tide had a runner picked off second to end an
inning and a sacrifice bunt that was popped up for an out. Give
LSU credit though. They took advantage of Alabama's mistakes
with some clutch hits.
SEC Player of the Year, Alabama's Kent Matthes (2 for 4, RBI)
summarized another frustrating day for the Crimson Tide.
"Ranaudo did a great job today,” Matthes (right)
said. “You got to tip your hat to him. He kept us off balance at
the plate and he was locating his fastball. We had a lot of base
runners. We had a lot of opportunities to score more runs today,
we just didn't get them in. For us, six runs probably isn't a
good day for us. We didn't help ourselves out, not playing good
defense behind Hyatt. We could have easily won that game."
Injury updates for Alabama: According to Jim Wells, third
baseman Jake Smith tore ligaments on both sides of his ankle on
the final play of Wednesday night, actually Thursday morning's
loss to South Carolina. His leg is not broken. He'll be in that
cast for three to six weeks. Surgery is not needed at this time.
He'll then begin rehab and should be fine. Also, centerfielder
Alex Kubal missed today's game with a strained hamstring. He's
about 75 percent and should be fine.
Wells was asked if he felt like his team has a case to host a
regional, he said "No. No. I do not." On the road they go. You
have to love the honesty.
LSU will next play Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT versus the loser of
tonight's Vanderbilt/South Carolina game.
(photo by Jimmy Jones)