BATON ROUGE, La. — Alabama first baseman Zane Denton and catcher Sam Praytor combined for five hits and four RBI Saturday to lead the Crimson Tide to a 6-5 win over LSU in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Alabama improved to 29-18 overall, 12-13 in the SEC, while LSU is 31-19 overall and 10-16 in conference play.
The series finale will be played at 2 p.m. CT Sunday in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The game will be streamed on SEC Network +, and it can be heard on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.
With LSU trailing 6-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning, leftfielder Gavin Dugas launched a two-out, two-run homer to narrow the gap to 6-5. However, Alabama closer Chase Lee entered the game and picked up his seventh save by retiring LSU third baseman Cade Doughty on a deep fly ball to left field.
“We came out so well and hit two home runs in the first inning and had a 3-1 lead in the second inning with a chance to add to it,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “But their starting pitcher (Dylan Smith) settled in against us and got into a groove. We had a couple of opportunities and some hard-hit balls, but when we did hit them hard, they were right at people.
“Our offense just went kind of stale as the game progressed, and their offense was able to take advantage of its scoring opportunities.”
Praytor was 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBI, and Denton was 2-for-5 with a homer and two RBI to pace Alabama’s 13-hit output.
Dugas unloaded a solo homer in the first inning and the two-run blast in the ninth to finish with three RBI. Rightfielder Dylan Crews drove in two runs with a home and an RBI single.
Alabama reliever Connor Shamblin (4-2) earned the win as he worked 4.2 innings in relief of starter Dylan Smith. Shamblin limited LSU to two runs on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Smith pitched the first four innings and allowed three runs on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
LSU starter AJ Labas (3-2) was charged with the loss, as he surrendered five runs on eight hits in four innings with no walks and one strikeout.
The Tigers received a stellar relief performance from freshman left-hander Javen Coleman, who worked four innings and limited the Crimson Tide to one run on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts.
“Javen Coleman came in a did a super job for us,” Mainieri said. “He gave up a solo homer to the first batter he faced (Denton), but after that he was nearly perfect. He kept us in the game, and we had a chance to win it in the ninth inning. We just came up a little bit short.”