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POSTGAME: Tigers defeat Alabama to take series, 7-2

Tigers pull off a must-win with ease.

Ryan McCarble/LSU

In Sunday’s rubber match, the LSU Tigers found themselves trailing in the beginning, but definitely did more than just pick it up to ultimately bring down the Alabama Crimson Tide, 7-2.

Head coach Paul Mainieri had termed the game a “must-win” in order to keep the team’s postseason hopes alive.

Alabama put up the first run of the game in the second inning, after a double by Trousdale sent Praytor to home base.

But it didn’t take long for first baseman Austin Bain to respond for LSU, with a solo to left field that tied the game at 1-1. The shot made for the senior’s third home run of the 2018 season.

An RBI single to center field by left fielder Beau Jordan in the third inning gave LSU a 2-1 lead in the third inning.

Following a quiet fourth inning, a two-run homer by DH Daniel Cabrera further extended LSU’s lead, 4-1 at the end of the fifth.

Alabama put their next run on the board in the sixth inning, as Holcombe hit a home run to left-center with one out.

At the bottom of the inning, an RBI single by Jake Slaughter that took catcher Hunter Feduccia home brought LSU’s lead to 5-2. The Tigers continued to run up the score on the Crimson Tide when a double to right field by Cabrera scored Hal Hughes and Jake Slaughter, making the score 7-2.

Alabama did manage to shorten the score gap by a single run in the ninth inning, with a double by Manning to bring in Trousdale. This made for the final score of the afternoon to make it 7-3, LSU.

As for pitching, RHP A.J. Labas was expected to start the game until yesterday. The freshman was not at the mound for LSU due to a sore shoulder. LHP Nick Bush was named to take his place, and surely surprised Mainieri on Sunday.

Mainieri had said earlier on a radio broadcast that he was unsure as to just how long Bush would make it through.

“I don’t know how long he’ll go,” he said. “If he gives us three great innings, I’d be satisfied. If he gets it to five, wow, I’ll be doing cartwheels.”

Bush pitched 6.0 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 runs, and 1 walk, striking out 2 batters when all was said and done.

After such a performance, Mainieri obviously had some more positive things to say about his pitcher.

“He was just amazing...he’s probably our most underrated, undervalued player on our team,” he said.

“Everybody sees Bain as the most valuable player, but I don’t think people are really giving Nick Bush the credit for his role on our team this year... I honest to God don’t know where we would be without him.”

RHP Devin Fontenot came in to replace him, pitching 2.0 innings and striking out 1 batter on the day. Todd Peterson finished off the ninth inning for the Tigers, allowing 2 hits, 1 run and 1 walk.

LSU will take on Northwestern State next when the Demons travel to The Box on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CT.