FINAL: LSU 5, Alabama 1
Nola brothers shine as Tigers sweep Tide with Sunday triumph
LSU’s Game 3 woes seem to have become a thing of the past.
Sunday, LSU (30-7, 11-4) won its fourth consecutive series finale, cruising to a workmanlike, 5-1, win to finish off a sweep of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
“I’ll tell you, there’s a kid named Aaron Nola who has a whole lot to do with that,” said LSU had coach Paul Mainieri. “When he’s out there, you just have the sense that he’s going to give you a chance to win.”
Nola returned to the weekend rotation Sunday after missing last weekend’s start against Florida. He worked an efficient five innings and allowed just a run on three hits while striking out five.
Nola’s lone blemish was a solo blast by Alabama shortstop Jared Reaves in the first inning. The Tide would load the bases in the third inning after a pair of singles sandwiched around a hit batsman, but the Tiger freshman induced a pair of pop outs to extinguish the threat.
The Catholic High product would retire the next six men he faced before being lifted for precautionary measures.
“It felt great, getting back on the mound, especially here in a home game,” Nola said. “I felt good. (My shoulder) was definitely 100 percent.”
Though Nola surrendered an early run, his older brother, Austin, picked him up in the bottom of the first inning with a two-out RBI single to right centerfield the score the sizzling Arby Fields who singled with one out in the inning.
Fields racked up three hits on the afternoon, six in total on the weekend.
“The way I’m seeing the ball right now, everything looks good to me,” Fields said.
The Tigers jumped on freshman left-hander Jon Keller in the second to take the lead for good.
Tyler Hanover drew a leadoff walk but was erased on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Tyler Moore. The relay to first, though, sailed into the LSU dugout, allowing Moore to advance to second. After Jared Foster walked, JaCoby Jones busted out of an 0-for-18 slump by airmailing Taylor Dugas in centerfield for an RBI double.
Fields followed by scorching a liner to left to plate two more and give the Tigers a, 4-1, lead.
Keller settled in after the three-run third and worked through the fifth inning, retiring nine of the next 10 betters he faced.
Nola was equally as good, and he turned it over to his bullpen to do the rest.
Right-handers Joey Bourgeois, Kurt McCune and Nick Rumbelow authored four innings of scoreless baseball, allowing just two Tide hits.
The Tigers’ fifth run came in the seventh when Jones lead off the inning with an infield single. He advance to third on a pair of ground ball outs before dashing home on a passed ball.
The win vaults LSU into a tie with Kentucky atop the SEC standings at the midway point of the season with a trip to Lexington looming next.
LSU: 5 runs, 9 hits, 0 errrors
Bama: 1 run, 5 fits, 2 errors
Click the following links for LSU head coach Paul Mainieri. PART 1, PART 2
CLICK HERE for LSU centerfielder Arby Fields.
CLICK HERE for LSU shortstop Austin Nola.
CLICK HERE for LSU starting pitcher Aaron Nola.
Below is our game blog.
The brooms are out at Alex Box Stadium this morning. We’ll see if the Tigers can put them to use after taking the 1st two games from Alabama this weekend. The two Tiger starters have been phenominal this weeekend, giving LSU 15 1/3 great innings which means that the bullpen is locked and loaded for today. That’s a plus because Aaron Nola will be on a bit of a limitation while he makes a full recovery from shoulder discomfort. I’d look for him to go no more than 5 or 6 today.
At the plate, it’s really been about Arby Fields this weekend. He’s got three hits and has driven in a couple of runs. He’s also played a great centerfield. When Rhymes is healthy enough to play the outfield, Mainieri will have a decision to make about centerfield. At this point, he’s going to have to leave Fields out there. That speed is too valuable.
Alabama will send freshman lefty Jon Keller to the bump today. His stuff is not as good as Kamplain’s, who was really strong last night in a losing effort. The Tiger bats have been really good over the last three weekends, and he doesn’t look like the type of guy to slow them down a whole bunch.
The wind is blowing out very hard to left field. You can tell summer is on the way.
A win today would tie LSU for 1st place in the SEC with Kentucky who took 2 of 3 at Arkansas this weekend. The Tigers head to Lexington next weekend for a big one.
Today’s game can be seen on ESPN2. The Tigers will don the Sunday Gold.
Alabama (13-22, 4-10)
1. Taylor Dugas CF .336
2. Hunter Gregory LF .256
3. Jared Reaves SS .324
4. Ben Moore C .349
5. Cameron Carlisle DH .196
6. Brett Booth 3B .234
7. Jon Kelton 1B .207
8. Andrew Miller RF .152
9. James Tullidge 2B .289
SP- Jon Keller LHP (1-1, 3.74ERA, 33.2IP, 35H, 14R, 14ER, 10BB, 20K, OPP BA- .269)
LSU (29-7, 10-4)
1. JaCoby Jones 2B .257
2. Arby Fields CF .250
3. Mason Katz RF .347
4. Raph Rhymes DH .475
5. Austin Nola SS .304
6. Ty Ross C .333
7. Tyler Hanover 3B .298
8. Tyler Moore 1B .280
9. Jared Foster LFG .235
SP- Aaron Nola RHP (4-1, 3.32ERA, 40.2IP, 32H, 17R, 15ER, 4BB, 41K, OPP BA- .212)
Top of the First:
Aaron Nola’s first pitch is fouled back by Dugas at 12:03… Dugas fans to open the game… Gregory chops it back to Aaron Nola for an easy out No. 2… Reaves crushes an Aaron Nola delivery for a solo home run… Ben Moore flies out to Katz moving inward in right field… One run. One hit. No errors. None left on base…. Alabama 1, LSU 0
Bottom of the First:
Jones rolls Keller’s first pitch out to short. One down… Fields singles to right and stays hot… Katz gives it a ride to deep left, but the wind can’t quite push it out. Two gone… Rhymes singles up the middle. Fields to second… Austin Nola finds the right center grass for an RBI single. Rhymes is held up at third… Ross nubs it to second to end the inning… One run. Three hits. No errors. Two left on base (3rd base, 1st base)…. LSU 1, Alabama 1
Top of the Second:
Carlisle can’t hold up for out No. 1… Booth can’t catch up, and Aaron Nola is dealing… Kelton pops up to Austin Nola, and it’s 1-2-3 for the younger brother… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base…. LSU 1, Alabama 1
Bottom of the Second:
Hanover walks… Tyler Moore fails on a sac bunt attempt then grounds up the middle where Tullidge makes a tremendous diving stop. He flips to Reaves for the out at second. Then, Reaves’ throw to first sails into LSU’s dugout so Tyler Moore moves to second with one out. Practically the same result had he gotten the bunt down… Foster walks… Jones crushes it to straight away center for an RBI-double. Foster stops at third…Fields doubles to left to score both… Katz pops out to left-center, where Gregory and Dugas softly collide while making the catch. Even their outs aren’t pretty. Two gone… Rhymes grounds out to short… Three runs. Two hits. One error. One left on base (2nd base)…. LSU 4, Alabama 1
Top of the Third:
Miller singles to center… Tullidge sac bunts Miller to second. One away… Dugas gets hit brushed and takes first… Gregory barely gets the end of the bat on it, and it rolls perfectly between Aaron Nola and Hanover for an infield hit. Bases loaded… Reaves pops up to a retreating Austin Nola. Big out there for Aaron. Two down… Ben Moore pops up to Ross behind the plate, and Bama squanders the opportunity. Great clutch pitching by Aaron Nola… No runs. Two hits. One error. Three left on base (bases loaded)…. LSU 4, Alabama 1
Bottom of the Third:
Austin Nola pops out to right… Ross bounces his first pitch to third. Two quickly down… Hanover pops out by first base, and it’s a five-pitch frame for Keller… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 4, Alabama 1
Top of the Fourth:
Carlisle flies his first pitch out to Fields… After a nice battle, Booth pops up to Moore in the infield. Two away… Kelton takes a backwards K on a slider… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 4, Alabama 1
Bottom of the Fourth:
Tyler Moore flies out to left… Foster flies out to center on a payoff pitch. Two away… Jones pops up to deep second, and Keller has retired eight straight. Six of those eight outs have been lazy pop ups… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 4, Alabama 1
Top of the Fifth:
Miller pops out to Tyler Moore moving in… Tullidge flies out to right. Two outs… Aaron Nola gets Dugas looking on another beautiful slider. That’s consecutive 1-2-3 innings for Aaron Nola… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 4, Alabama 1
Bottom of the Fifth:
Fields singles to right. Boy, he’s locked in. Keller had previously retired the order since Fields the last time… Katz takes strike three as Fields heads for second. The umpire rules that Katz got in the catcher’s way following his K, so Fields is called out for interference. Mainieri does not argue. Two outs… Rhymes rolls up the middle, and Reaves boots it for an error… Austin Nola flies out to deep center, but the ballpark holds it… No runs. One hit. One error. One left on base (1st base)… LSU 4, Alabama 1
Top of the Sixth:
Joey Bourgeois the new pitcher for LSU… Gregory chops up the middle and beats it out for an infield single. Jones did the best he could there… Reaves grounds softly to third, where Hanover gets the force at second. It wasn’t quite hit sharply enough to turn two. One away… Ben Moore lines out to left. Two outs… Carlisle goes down looking on a sick curveball from Bourgeois… No runs. One hit. No errors. One left on base (1st base)… LSU 4, Alabama 1
Bottom of the Sixth:
Righty Jake Hubbard the new Bama pitcher… Ross swings trough a changeup. One down… Hanover rolls up the middle and is retired. Two gone… Tyler Moore crushes it into the glove of Reaves at short…No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 4, Alabama 1
Top of the Seventh:
Booth pops to shallow center, where Fields goes a long way to make the play. One down… Kelton one-hops Tyler Moore for out No. 2… Miller flies out to Katz, and Bourgeois has retired six straight since allowing the first batter he faced to get a weak but well placed infield hit… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 4, Alabama 1
Bottom of the Seventh:
Foster smacks it up the middle, but Tullidge is there for a nice backhanded play. One down… Jones grounds to short in the hole but legs in out for a single… Jones steals second… Fields grounds out to short up the middle, but it’s behind Jones so the leadoff hitter advances to third. Two outs… Jones comes home on a passed ball… Katz grounds to short, and he beats it out for a hit too… Katz is gunned out at second… One run. Two hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 5, Alabama 1
Top of the Eighth:
Kurt McCune the new Tiger pitcher… Tullidge flies out to Fields, and McCune wins the battle of jersey No. 39. One away… Dugas bounces out to Nola moving in. Two away… Gregory grounds out to Hanover, and it’s a 1-2-3 frame for McCune… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 5, Alabama 1
Bottom of the Eighth:
Jay Shaw the new pitcher for Alabama… Rhymes lines to left, where Gregory makes a diving attempt and nearly squeezes it. Single… Austin Nola grounds out to second softly enough to advance Rhymes to second. One down… Ross grounds out behind Rhymes to advance him to third. Two outs… Hanover flies out to right… No runs. One hit. No errors. One left on base (3rd base)… LSU 5, Alabama 1
Top of the Ninth:
Reaves grounds out to Jones… Ben Moore lines out to Foster in left. Two down…Carlisle singles to right to keep Alabama alive… Booth excuse me’s back to the mound to end the ballgame… No runs. One hit. No errors. One left on base (1st base)… Gametime:2:12
Final: LSU 5, Alabama 1