The sixth-ranked LSU Tigers capped off a series sweep of Alabama this weekend in dramatic fashion. Third baseman Grant Dozar hit a walk-off homerun in the bottom of the 14th inning, his first of the year, to give the Tigers a 6-5 victory. The three game series was very entertaining, especially for the fans in purple and gold, who showed up in record numbers to see this SEC West showdown.
Friday night’s contest started out unfavorably for LSU with some tough calls from the umpires in the early innings that led to a four-run deficit. Homers by Austin Nola and two by Blake Dean led the comeback and eventual 12-5 victory. Anthony Ranaudo earned his second victory of the season after settling down and striking out eight batters in his six innings of work.
On Saturday a record crowd showed up to watch the Tigers in action and to honor former LSU pitcher Ben McDonald, whose jersey was retired before the beginning of the game. LSU took care of business on the field in front of the announced attendance of 10,019 with a 9-7 victory. Austin Nola and Blake Dean hit back-to-back homeruns in the third inning after left-fielder Johnny Dishon started the barrage with his fourth homerun of the year. The homers chased Alabama’s starter Tyler White and the Tigers held off a late rally to secure the series win.
Sunday’s game had the most dramatic flair, this time coming off the bat of third-baseman Grant Dozar’s bat in the bottom of the 14th inning. A hard fought game from both sides of the diamond ended with a mob scene at home plate for Dozar, who connected on his first homerun of the year. It couldn’t have come at a better time.
LSU closer Matty Ott earned the victory as he went the final five innings for his longest outing as a Tiger. Ott closed the door on the Tide, keeping the Bama hitters off balance with his patented sliders and off-speed pitches and preserving the series sweep for the Tigers.
LSU won their 30th game of the season with the victory (30-6,11-4) and will travel Tuesday to Shreveport to take on Northwestern St. in a makeup game. After 36 games last year LSU held a 27-9 record. Whether they are better than last year’s team is way too soon to determine, but record-wise they sure are playing some pretty good baseball. Topping last year’s accomplishment could never be matched but it sure looks like this team is at least capable of trying to duplicate it.