BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU right-hander Paul Skenes limited Alabama to one run in six innings Friday night, and centerfielder Dylan Crews drove in four runs as top-ranked LSU posted an 8-6 win over Alabama in Game 1 of an SEC series inside Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
With the win, LSU’s record improved to 33-8 on the season and 13-5 in the SEC, while Alabama dropped to 30-13 on the year and 9-10 in conference play.
The second game of the LSU-Alabama series is scheduled for a 6 p.m. CT first pitch Saturday night at “The Box.” The contest will be streamed on SEC Network + and it may be heard on LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates.
Skenes (8-1) earned the win by throwing 6.0 innings and allowing one run on five hits with no walks and nine strikeouts.
“Alabama had a really good lineup with a lot of veteran players, and Paul dictated the tempo of the game tonight,” LSU coach Jay Johnson said. “I thought he had everything working; just another spectacular performance by him.”
LSU reliever Bryce Collins earned the save by striking out Alabama third baseman Colby Shelton with runners at second and third to end the game.
“We have a lot of confidence in Bryce, and he’s been outstanding here in the last month,” Johnson said. “He’s going to be in those spots again, so we’re going to hope to see more of what we saw tonight from him.”
Alabama starter Hagan Banks (1-1) was charged with the loss, after firing 3.0 innings and allowing four runs on three hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
LSU opened the scoring in the bottom of the second with a solo shot from third baseman Tommy White – his 14th dinger of the season.
Crews, who recently moved into the LSU all-time Top 10 list for home runs, launched a three-run dinger – his 12th homer of the season – in the third inning to increase the Tigers’ lead to 4-0. The frame featured a single from catcher Alex Milazzo and a two-out walk by left fielder Tre’ Morgan before Crews hit one over the wall.
“Dylan’s homer is going to catch all the attention, as it should,” said Johnson. “Those mature at-bats by Alex and by Tre’ to get us to that point were a really big deal in the game tonight.”
Alabama’s right fielder Andrew Pinckney got one back for the Tide, depositing a pitch into the right field bleachers to make the score 4-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, LSU scratched across three runs on one hit. The Tigers coaxed four walks and second baseman Gavin Dugas reached via HBP. Following a walk from designated hitter Cade Beloso and a double from shortstop Jordan Thompson, LSU loaded the bases on a walk from Milazzo.
The three runs came across consecutively on a Dugas HBP and walks from Morgan and Crews, giving the Tigers a 7-1 advantage after six innings. After LSU was issued three free passes in the bottom of the seventh, Milazzo laid down a sacrifice bunt to widen the gap to 8-1.
The Crimson Tide scored a run in the eighth and four more in the in the ninth before Collins sealed the win for the Tigers with the final strikeout.