In the longest game in school history, Alabama fell in 16 innings to the second-ranked LSU Tigers, 11-8, on Saturday night from Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Tide matched the school record for the most innings played and after coming to an end in four hours and 55 minutes, the Crimson Tide played its longest game in school history.
The loss drops Alabama to 23-18 and 8-9 in the SEC, and LSU’s win bolsters their record to 37-3 overall and 15-2 in conference play.
The Crimson Tide finishes up its series with the second-ranked Tigers on Sunday, with first pitch slated for 1:05 p.m. CDT. The Crimson Tide will start Spencer Turnbull (4-1, 2.30), and the Tigers’ starter has yet to be determined.
“Well it was one of those kinds of crazy games where both sides competed like crazy,” Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said. “When you go 16 innings, there was a lot of really good effort on both sides, and the pitchers that were extended tonight stayed with it. I’m proud of the way our guys played. I thought they competed like crazy all night long. It is just unfortunate there that they got the big hit there late and we had a couple of opportunities we missed. Truly, it was a good baseball game. I hate to be on the losing end, but it’s one of those that the fans got their money’s worth times two tonight. ”
LSU scored three times in the 16th inning after two were out. The Tigers got a walk from Christian Ibarra and a double down the left field line from pinch hitter Tyler Moore. With Ibarra on third, Mike Oczypok threw a wild pitch to allow him to score to eventual game-winning run. On the next pitch Jacoby Jones doubled to deep center field to score another, then LSU’s final run of the inning came in the next at-bat, when Ty Ross singled up the middle to carve out an 11-8 lead.
Alabama senior third baseman Kenny Roberts hit a ninth inning three-run home run to send the game into extra innings and added a single and scored two runs. Senior left fielder Andrew Miller also played a key role offensively, stroking two singles in three at-bats for a career-high tying three RBI and also added a walk. Freshman shortstop Mikey White was 3-for-6 with two doubles, a single, an intentional walk, and three runs scored. Senior catcher Brett Booth pitched in his ninth multi-hit effort of the season with three singles and a run scored.
Freshman second baseman Kyle Overstreet and freshman first baseman Chance Vincent accounted for the other runs batted in with one apiece.
The Alabama and LSU lineups went at it in a game that featured three lead changes, two instances of a tied score, and seven different innings with a run scored. The teams combined for 19 runs and each put up double digit hits with a combined 35 hits. Alabama finished the night with 17 hits, while the Tigers had 18.
The Tigers got three-run home runs from Alex Bregman, who was 3-for-7 with three RBI, and from Ross, who was 2-for-7 with four RBI in the game. Ibarra was 3-for-6, Jones was 3-for-7 with two RBI and three runs scored and Chris Sciambra was 2-for-4.
Freshman right-hander Mike Oczypok (3-1) took the tough-luck loss in his eighth appearance of the season. Oczypok struck out two in 2.2 innings, but allowed three runs on three hits and three walks. In his team-high 16th appearance of the season, Ray Castillo dealt four scoreless innings and allowed two hits and four walks with five punch outs. LSU’s Kurt McCune (3-0) picked up the win in his extra inning effort and recorded two strikeouts in two innings pitched while surrendering only one hit.
Sophomore south paw Justin Kamplain got his second start of the year for the Tide, lasting 5.2 innings pitched and allowing seven runs on nine hits and two walks, despite a season-high five strikeouts. Junior righty Tucker Hawley relieved Kamplain in the sixth inning and gave the Tide 2.1 innings of work with one run allowed on three hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Freshman right-hander Keaton Haack pitched the scoreless ninth frame for Alabama, allowing only a hit.
The Tide wasted no time getting on the board with instant offense in the first. Roberts kicked the game off with a single down the left field line. After Roberts advanced to second on a passed ball, Kyle Overstreet swung at the second pitch he saw and drove it deep down the right field line. Despite being thrown out trying to leg out a triple, Roberts was able to score from second to give Alabama an early 1-0 lead.
Alabama led off their second straight inning with a base runner, as Booth singled to begin the bottom of the second frame. Two batters later, White stroked a double to the left center gap to set up runners on second and third. After Chance Vincent reached and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice, Miller stroked a single into right field to push the Alabama lead to 3-0. However, the Tigers responded with Bregman’s three-run home run in the top of the third to erase the lead and make it a 3-3 game.
LSU got a lead-off ground-rule from Mason Katz to start the fourth inning. After a strikeout, Sciambra singled through the left field side to set up runners on the corners. Jones swung at the first pitch he was thrown and dropped it into center field to drive in a run. LSU capped the fourth off with a three-run shot over the left field wall by Ross to make it a 7-3 game.
Booth stroked his second single of the game to lead off the fourth inning. After a strikeout in the next at-bat, White knocked his second double of the game down the right field line to set up runners on second and third with one out. Booth advanced home on Vincent’s groundout to short, and Miller knocked in his third RBI of the game on a single to right center, cutting the lead to 7-5.
Hawley came into relieve Kamplain in the middle of the sixth inning with men on second and third and worked out of the jam. Hawley was cruising after getting a fly out and a strikeout, but surrendered a double and triple to Ibarra and Sciambra, respectively, to give LSU an 8-5.
The Tide brought a furious rally in the ninth inning jump started by another leadoff single by White. After Vincent was put out on a ball hit on a rope to center, Miller drew a walk to reach base for the third time that night. Roberts came up with the biggest hit of the night, as he launched a rocket over the wall in left field to send the game to extra innings at 8-8.
Despite the two teams combining for 16 runs in the nine regulation innings, the two teams were locked in a pitchers’ duel for the first six extra innings, as both lineups were kept off the board. Both teams had chances, including a bases-loaded no-out situation for LSU in the 14th. White stretched out to get a glove on the ball, and got up in time to force the runner out at home, and to get the force out at third. Oczypok was able to force a groundout to the second baseman to slip out of the biggest jam of the game.