Alabama, LSU advance in NCAA tournament

 Barry Allen   in Baseball

A look at Alabama and LSU's advancement to Sunday in the NCAA baseball tournament.

Alabama and LSU both avoided elimination in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday. The Crimson Tide got a complete-game gem from junior right-hander Dylan Smith and the Tigers got a walk-off single from centerfielder Giovani DiGiacomo to play another day in the post season.

Smith photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics.

Bama’s Smith Tosses Gem

Smith kept the Crimson Tide’s season alive with dominating, complete-game 3-1 victory over Rider at J.C. Love Field at the 2021 Ruston Regional.

Smith (2-8) held the Broncs to one run and seven hits for his second win of the season. He struck out seven batters and did not issue a walk.

“Dylan did a really good job of locating the fastball and keeping the ball down in the zone,” Alabama pitching coach JJ Jackson said on the CTSN post game radio show.

Smith finished with 116 pitches, including 91 strikes (78 percent).

The Crimson Tide also played an errorless game and turned two double plays behind the right hander.

“Dylan was awesome,” Jackson added. “He pounded the strike zone and we played really good defense behind him.”

Smith allowed a leadoff double to Kyle Johnson to open the game and Johnson came around to score on a pair of infield ground outs to give the Broncs a 1-0 lead.

Smith held the Broncs scoreless over the final 8 1/3 innings.

Rider was 0-for-11 with runners on base.

Smith tossed the first complete game of his career giving the Crimson Tide its first NCAA Tournament win since 2014.

Alabama’s last NCAA Tournament win came 2,560 days ago when Geoffrey Bramblett tossed his first career complete game in a 6-0 win over Georgia Southern at the Tallahassee Regional.

The Crimson Tide managed only seven hits but scratched out three runs for the win.

Caden Rose tied the game with an RBI double in the second inning. William Hamiter blasted a two-run home run in the seventh to give the Tide a 3-1 lead.

Smith’s gem was just the sixth complete-game win by an Alabama pitcher in the NCAA Tournament since 1995.

 LSU Extends Season; Paul Mainieri Coaches One More Day

DiGiacomo delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift LSU to a 6-5 in over Central Connecticut State in the NCAA Eugene Regional.

The win gives LSU head coach Paul Mainieri at least one more day in the Tigers dugouts. The LSU coach announced his retirement at the end of the season last week.

The game was tied 5-5 after three innings and remained that way until the bottom of the 10th when DiGiacomo singled up the middle to score Gavin Dugas with the winning run.

LSU right fielder Dylan Crews belted two home runs for the Tigers. He led off the game with a solo home run and added second homer in the third inning.

Central Connecticut State scored all five runs in the second inning to take a 5-2 lead.

LSU second baseman Drew Bianco stroked a game-tying two-run double in the third.

The LSU bullpen, which has been a trouble spot at times this season, combined for six scoreless innings in the win. Garrett Edwards tossed five scoreless innings for the Tigers.  He allowed only two hits and struck out four. Devin Fontenot worked a perfect 10th inning with two strikeouts for the win.