TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — LSU scored three runs in the top of the 16th inning to defeat Alabama 11-8 in a wild Southeastern Conference baseball game Saturday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
It was the Tigers’ longest game since a 7-6, 16-inning loss at Florida on March 22, 1996.
Both teams squandered three-run leads before the game settled into a battle of bullpens and attrition.
A wild pitch by Mike Oczypok (3-1) sent Christian Ibarra home with the tie-breaking run, JaCoby Jones hit an RBI double and Ty Ross followed with an RBI single to complete the winning rally.
The victory went to Kurt McCune (3-0), the sixth Tigers pitcher, who threw two scoreless innings.
LSU (37-3, 15-2 SEC) improved to 4-0 in extra-inning games. The Crimson Tide (23-18, 8-9) is 0-4 in extra-inning games.
The Tigers will go for their fourth sweep in six series at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Alex Bregman and Ross both hit three-run home runs as LSU built an 8-5 lead.
LSU loaded the bases with none out in the 14th, but, with the infield playing in, shortstop Mikey White made a diving stop if JaCoby Jones’ grounder and started a 6-2-5 double play. Second baseman Kyle Overstreet made a diving stop of Ty Ross’ grounder and threw him out to end the inning.
Chris Cotton, who was eight for eight in save opportunities, took an 8-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth after pitching a scoreless eighth.
White led off with a single, and one out later Andrew Miller reached on Jones’ fielding error at second. Kenny Roberts followed with his second homer of the season to tie the score.
George Salem followed with a single, but Cotton got a flyout and strikeout to send the game to extra innings.
Bama got runners to second and third with two out in the 10th, but Cotton got Miller to and third with two out in the 10th, but Cotton got Miller to ground back to the mound.
Nate Fury relieved to start the 11th and got the Tide in order, starting his string of four scoreless innings before giving way to McCune.
LSU got a leadoff single from Sean McMullen in the 13th and Mark Laird sacrificed his to second. Bama intentionally walked Bregman, who needed just a single to hit for the cycle, and it paid off when Raph Rhymes hit into an inning-ending double play.
LSU starter Ryan Eades lasted just four innings, matching his shortest outing of the season, which came last week at Arkansas. Eades gave up eight hits and five runs. He had lasted at least six innings in each of his six starts before last week.
Nick Rumbelow threw two scoreless innings and Joey Bourgeois pitched one scoreless inning before Cotton took over.
LSU fell behind 3-0 early, but turned things around quickly. Jones led off the third with a bloop single to center, Mark Laird beat out a two-out, slow roller to first and Bregman followed with his fourth homer of the season even the score 3-3.
Mason Katz led off the fourth with a double, went to third on Chris Sciambra’s single and scored a tie-breaking run on Jones’ second consecutive single. Ross followed with his third homer of the season to give the Tigers a 7-3 lead.
Bama cut the lead in half in the bottom half. Brett Booth beat out a grounder to short, White doubled him to third and Chance Vincent’s grounder sent Booth home. Miller’s single brought home White.
Ibarra doubled with two out in the seventh and Sciambra followed with a triple to complete the scoring.
The Tide took a 1-0 lead in the first when leadoff hitter Kenny Roberts singled, moved to second on Ross’ passed ball and scored when Kyle Overstreet’s soft pop into shallow right fell in for a double.
Sciambra dove for the ball, but couldn’t make the catch and first baseman Katz ran down the ball and threw to Bregman, whose relay from shortstop got Overstreet trying to reach third.
Bama increased the lead to 3-0 in the second as Booth singled, White doubled and Miller hit a two-out, two-run single.
Copyright © 2014, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved