By Tiger Rag News Service
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Junior right-hander Alex Lange limited Alabama to two runs in 7.1 innings Thursday night, leading No. 11 LSU to an 8-2 win over the Crimson Tide at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
LSU improved to 28-15 overall and 11-8 in the SEC, while Alabama dropped to 15-27 overall and 2-17 in conference play.
The teams will resume the series with Game 2 at 6 p.m. CT Friday, and the contest will be televised on the SEC Network. The game will be carried by affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, and the broadcast may be heard at www.LSUsports.net/live.
Lange (5-4) scattered eight hits in the outing, firing 112 pitches – 73 for strikes — and recording one walk and 10 strikeouts. Alabama starter Dylan Duarte (2-5) was charged with the loss as he allowed five runs on seven hits in three innings with no walks and two strikeouts.
“That was vintage Alex Lange tonight,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “He gave us exactly what we needed to get off to a good start in this series. His command was outstanding, and he was aggressive in going after the hitters. The final score is a little misleading because we added some runs late, but this was a tight ball game most of the way, and we needed Alex at his best to get the win.”
Second baseman Cole Freeman paced LSU’s 11-hit attack by going 3-for-5 at the plate and scoring one run. First baseman Nick Coomes was 2-for-2 with a double and two RBI, and leftfielder Antoine Duplantis also contributed a double while driving in two runs.
LSU struck for three runs in the top of the first inning against Alabama starter Dylan Duarte as first baseman Nick Coomes and shortstop Kramer Robertson delivered run-scoring singles, and third baseman Josh Smith drove in a run with a bases-loaded groundout.
Alabama narrowed the gap in the bottom of the second inning when catcher Alex Webb launched a two-run homer, his second of the season.
LSU responded to take a 4-2 lead in the third when Coomes doubled and scored on a single by designated hitter Jordan Romero.
The Tigers increased the advantage to 5-2 in the fourth as Coomes produced his second RBI of the game with a bases-loaded fielder’s choice.
LSU added four insurance runs in the ninth when catcher Michael Papierski drew a bases-loaded walk, and leftfielder Antoine Duplantis lined a two-run double to widen the margin to 8-2.
LSU relievers Nick Bush and Matthew Beck pitched very effectively in relief of Lange, combining to work the final 1.2 innings with no hits, no walks and three strikeouts.