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Story Archives: Tigers blank 'Bama, 3-0, in first game of series
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|Tigers blank 'Bama, 3-0, in first game of series|
BATON ROUGE -- LSU blanked Alabama 3-0, Saturday, in the first game of an SEC series behind strong pitching from Jared Bradford. The shutout was the first suffered by the Crimson Tide (16-14, 4-6 SEC) this season.
Game 1 of the series started on Friday night, but was called after three innings due to severe thunderstorms in the Baton Rouge area. The game resumed at 1 p.m. CT Saturday.
Game 2 of the series will be played at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Alex Box Stadium. The series finale starts at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Bradford (6-3) was on the mound Saturday for the Tigers when the game resumed (19-10, 4-6 SEC) – he pitched 5.1 innings and gave up only three hits to earn the victory, LSU's fourth win in a row.
"These are big games," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "Obviously, we got one, but now we are going to try and get another one tonight."
LSU starter Blake Martin made quick work of the Crimson Tide in the first inning on Friday, using only six pitches to bring the Tigers to the plate.
Alabama starter Austin Hyatt (2-3) struck out the first three Tiger batters he faced. However, Blake Dean reached first after swinging at a wild pitch for his third strike. Matt Clark walked, bringing DJ LeMahieu to the plate. He hit what looked to be a double to right field, but Alabama's Kent Matthes made a spectacular diving catch to end the inning.
Martin came back strong again in the second, striking out two in the second. Jake Smith was plunked by a Martin pitch with one out in the third, but was caught stealing by Micah Gibbs. Josh Rutledge legged out an infield single, but was left stranded after Derek Helenihi, getting the start at third base, made an outstanding throw to first for the third out.
The rain started again in the bottom of the third. The game was suspended at 8:08 p.m. and called at 8:42 p.m. with Ryan Schimpf on first and Helenihi at the plate with a 0-0 count.
LeMahieu laced a single right up the middle in the bottom of the fourth. Sean Ochinko hit a grounder down the third base line, but the ball was nabbed by Smith, and Ochinko was thrown out. LeMahieu attempted to advance to third on the play, and the ball was thrown over Smith's head by first baseman Matt Bentley, allowing LeMahieu to score the first run of the game.
LSU expanded its lead in the fifth. Bradford continued his dominance on the mound, retiring his sixth straight batter of the game. At the plate, Johnny Dishon hit his first career home run to right field. Schimpf followed with a single, and advanced to second on a Helenihi grounder. Dean brought Schimpf home with a line drive single to right, putting the Tigers up 3-0.
Bradford used only seven pitches to get through the sixth. He gave up his first hit in the top of the seventh when Alex Avila hit a double to right field. He gave up another hit in the eighth and in the ninth.
A scary moment occurred for the Tigers in the top of the ninth when Bradford took a line drive off his shin before recording the first out of the inning. Bradford was relieved by freshman right-hander Daniel Bradshaw.
"(Bradford) was having trouble in his wind-up," said Mainieri. "I didn't want to take any chances with the kid."
Bradshaw was credited with his third save of the season as he retired the final two Crimson Tide batters.
(Report courtesy of lsusports.net.)