Alabama Loses Opening Game Of SEC Tournament

LSU shut down Alabama rallies in the eighth and ninth innings to hold onto a 4-3 victory over the Crimson Tide in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.

LSU third baseman Will Harris hit a run-scoring double in the seventh inning, then came in as a relief pitcher to fend off the Tide (39-18) rallies.

LSU starter Clay Dirks (5-4) dominated the top-seeded Crimson Tide through seven innings. The left-hander retired the first six batters he faced. He gave up back-to-back singles to open the third and recorded 15 consecutive outs as the Tigers (35-22) took a 3-0 lead into the eighth.

Although Alabama closed the gap to 4-3 by the ninth inning, Harris grounded out Alabama's Matt Bentley to end the game.

LSU, the tournament's number 8 seed, will play the winner of tonight's late game between Arkansas and Ole Miss Thursday. Alabama will play the loser of that game Thursday.

Copyright 2006.  Alabama Associated Press.