Good thing, too. In the second round of the tournament Wednesday, Alabama suffered a 3-0 loss to the second-ranked and No. 2 seeded LSU Tigers.
But the Crimson Tide plays on! It’s another tough test for Bama, going against 21st ranked Ole Miss. First pitch is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. CDT Thursday. This is an elimination game.
Alabama will pitch sophomore right-hander Spencer Turnbull (4-3 with a 3.61 ERA) and the Rebles will send freshman right-hander Jacob Wageuspack (0-1, 2.89) to the mound.
Just over a month ago, Ole Miss swept Alabama in Oxford, winning games by 4-3, 5-2, and 6-0.
On Wednesday, though, the Rebels lost a heart-breaker to Arkansas, falling by a 2-1 margin in 10 innings with the winning run scoring on a wild pitch.
In the next game, the scoring was all over in the first inning. In fact, it never got started by Alabama. Tide senior Charley Sullivan gave up three runs on three hits to LSU in the opening frame, then went the distance without allowing another run. Sullivan (5-6) would go on to throw all eight innings, allowing three earned runs on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
“We tip our hat to LSU and Cody Glenn,” Alabama Coach Mitch Gaspard said. “He (Glenn) was outstanding. He changed speeds and moved the ball around. We couldn’t get any good swings off and they played clean. With the exception of the first inning, where I thought we were sloppy and they put good swings on him. Charley responded and I was really pleased with the way he settled in and was able to go the distance and save the bullpen.”
LSU (49-8) moves on in the winners’ bracket against Arkansas. Alabama fell to 33-25.
LSU’s starting pitcher Cody Glenn blanked the Tide for seven innings, allowing five hits with two strikeouts. En route to his seventh win, Glenn (7-2) did not allow a runner to reach second base until the seventh inning, when the Tide had runners on first and second with two outs.
LSU relievers Nick Rumbelow and Chris Cotton threw two scoreless innings to finish the shutout. Cotton retired all three hitters he faced in the ninth to record his 13th save.
Brett Booth had two of the Tide’s six hits and finished 2-for-4. Kenny Roberts, Georgie Salem, Kyle Overstreet, and Chance Vincent all had singles for Bama.
Tigers’ freshman shortstop Alex Bregman had three of the eight LSU hits, as he finished 3-for-4 with a run scored. Sean McMullen was 1-for-3 with a run scored and Mason Katz and Christian Ibarra were both 1-for-3 with an RBI.
LSU did all its scoring in the bottom of the first inning. After McMullen singled off the glove of third baseman Roberts, he advanced to third on a fielding error by left fielder Andrew Miller. Mark Laird grounded out to short to allow McMullen to score the first run.
With the bases empty, Bregman doubled to the corner in left field and Katz walked to put runners on first and second. With the runners moving on the pitch, Raph Rhymes hit a slow roller back between home plate and the pitcher’s mound. In the scramble for the ball, home plate was left uncovered and Bregman scored from second as Sullivan threw out Rhymes at first. Katz scored the third run of the inning and the last run of the game on a single by Ibarra.
After the three-run first, LSU was limited to six base runners over the next seven innings. For Alabama, Glenn allowed six base runners through seven innings, and faced three batters over the minimum through his first six innings of work.
Alabama had a couple of late chances, getting a pair of runners on in the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh, Austen Smith was hit by a pitch and Booth singled with two outs, but the threat ended when Miller grounded out to first. Off Rumbelow in the eighth, the Tide got a one out single by Roberts and Salem reached on an error. Overstreet flied out to left and Ben Moore grounded out to second, ending Alabama’s best scoring opportunity of the day.