Kyle Overstreet’s walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted Alabama to their biggest win of the year, as the Crimson Tide defeated the second-ranked LSU Tigers, 4-3, in a Southeastern Conference game on Sunday afternoon from Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
With the win Alabama improves to 24-18 overall and 9-9 in the SEC, and the loss drops LSU to 37-4 overall, 15-3 in conference play.
The Crimson Tide returns to action on Wednesday when it travels to Hattiesburg to take on the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles. First pitch for the game at Pete Taylor Park is scheduled for 6 p.m. CDT.
“First of all, I’m really proud of our team, particularly coming out after a ball game last night, playing 16 innings and still coming out with great effort today,” Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said. “It’s that same kind of intensity we left the ball park with last night. It was just a team win; we had a lot of guys step up and do some great things. I really don’t know if we wanted a different guy there at the plate at the end than Kyle (Overstreet). He’s been a guy that’s been delivering and also been confident in everything he’s done. I think a lot of the young guys are starting to show their presence and all are getting better. This was a really big win for our team, especially coming off last night. I think this is a game we can hang on to and build momentum and gain confidence.”
After Alabama loaded the bases off LSU reliever Joey Bourgeois, Georgie Salem flied out to center field to set the table for Overstreet’s heroics. On the second pitch of the at-bat, Overstreet singled to center field to drive in Mikey White for the game-winning run. For Overstreet it marked the 15th two-out RBI of the season for the freshman second baseman.
White was hit by a pitch to open the inning, was bunted over by Chance Vincent, and advanced to third on an error on Andrew Miller’s bunt to third. The Tigers elected to intentionally walk Kenny Roberts to load the bases, setting a force at any base. After Salem flied out, Overstreet delivered the clutch base hit to give the Tide their first win over a top-5 team since defeating second-ranked South Carolina, 2-1, on May 19, 2011.
The game-winning single in the 10th inning was the only hit of the game for Overstreet, who finished the day 1-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored. Sophomore right fielder Ben Moore and junior designated hitter Austen Smith each pitched in an RBI single and freshman shortstop Mikey White posted a single, a RBI, was hit by a pitch and scored the game-winning run. Freshman center fielder Georgie Salem notched a double and a run scored.
Sophomore righty Spencer Turnbull was a workhorse in his 10th start of the season, striking out four in nine innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits, with two walks and a hit by pitch. Despite throwing nine innings, Turnbull did not factor into the decision as the game went into extra innings. Freshman right-hander Keaton Haack (1-1) earned the first victory of his career after pitching a perfect final 0.2 innings.
After sophomore south paw Jon Keller allowed a hit and a walk in the top of the 10th inning, Haack took the mound and got the only batter he faced, clean-up man Raph Rhymes, to ground into an inning ending 6-4-3 double play to set up the walk-off effort for the Tide in the home half of the inning.
“We got just what we needed with the start from Spencer Turnbull; he was dynamite for nine innings,” Gaspard said. “He threw about 118 pitches, which is a little more than he’s thrown all year, but he was terrific here all day.“
LSU’s Joey Bourgeois (2-1) was charged with the after allowing an unearned run on a hit and a walk in 1.2 innings pitched with a pair of strikeouts. The Tigers received a solid start from Cody Glenn, who struck out four in eight innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits.
The two starting pitchers had all pitches working early, as each team was held without a hit for the first three innings. The first hit of the game came in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Salem doubled to the warning track in right center. A fielding error by the second baseman on Overstreet’s grounder allowed him to reach and send Salem to third. In a 10-pitch at-bat, Moore drove a ball into left field to score Salem to open up the first lead of the game. Two batters later, Smith hit a slow roller right back up the middle, and with some crafty base running, allowed Overstreet to score from second and extend the lead to 2-0.
LSU came right back to cut the lead in their next opportunity at the dish. Christian Ibarra got the first hit of the game for the Tigers with a single up the middle. Ibarra advanced to second on a wild pitch during Chris Sciambra’s at-bat, and to third on the groundout. A Ty Ross single up the middle capped off the inning for LSU, plating Ibarra to cut the lead to 2-1.
Turnbull dug himself a hole early in the seventh inning, as he allowed each of the first three batters to reach on a hit by pitch, an error, and a bunt single. The Tide got Sciambra to groundout into another double play, facilitated by White and Overstreet, that allowed LSU to only come away with one run in the inning, tying the score at 2-2.
Continuing the trend of back-and-forth scoring from Saturday, the Crimson Tide came right back with a run in the bottom of the frame. Brett Booth led off the inning by reaching on an error, and was bunted over by Smith. White came up with an RBI single on the first pitch he saw to give Alabama a 3-2 lead.
The Tigers put the heat on again in the ninth inning, as Mason Katz got a base hit followed by an Ibarra double to set up men on second and third with no outs. Sciambra followed up with a fly out deep along the left field line to plate Katz from third to tie the game at 3-3. The Tide was the beneficiary of a line out to first base and a groundout to third to end the inning and prevent further damage.
Alabama could not score in the bottom of the ninth, and that the game into extra innings for the second straight day.