LSU evens series with 5-2 win over Alabama
TUSCALOOSA - LSU put their hopes in Eric Walker's hands and the right-hander delivered on Saturday. Walker finished with a season-high nine strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on five hits as No. 13 LSU evened up the series with a 5-2 win at at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
Walker moved up a day in the rotation after Mainieri revealed Cole Henry would miss this weekends start due to arm soreness. In the first inning Walker gave up a lead-off solo-shot to Keith Holcombe on a 2-0 fastball. After that he would settle in, Walker struck out three straight to exit the first.
“Eric was phenomenal with nine strikeouts, and his velocity was up to 90 miles per hour, which is very encouraging,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “His command was really good – I was hoping to get at least four innings out of him, and he gave us nearly six. He did a tremendous job, he’s a great competitor and leader for our team.”
In the fourth inning a whacky sequence occurred. Zach Watson crushed a three-run homer down the left field line that was originally ruled foul. But after replay review, the home plate umpire overturned the call and awarded Watson with his fifth home run of the season. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs.
“We had much better at-bats and execution today at the plate,” Mainieri said. “We had some clutch hits, and obviously the home run by Watson was huge; he really came through with a big swing.”
LSU freshman Gavin Dugas returned to the lineup for the first time since undergoing thumb surgery. He went 2-for-4 after missing two months with a torn ligament.
The weekend series, tied at one game apiece, concludes at 1 p.m. CT Sunday. There's no word yet on who is expected to start for LSU.