Thursday May 2, 2013No. 3 LSU Edges Florida Baseball, 3-2, In Series Opener
Baton Rouge, La.
Baton Rouge, La.
Junior Ty Ross lofted a bases-loaded sacrifice fly into center field in the eighth inning to snap a 2-2 tie and lift No. 3 LSU (41-6/17-5 SEC) to a 3-2 series-opening victory over Florida (25-21/12-10 SEC) on Thursday night at Alex Box Stadium.
With the score deadlocked at two runs apiece, Tiger freshman Alex Bregman (2-for-3) legged out an infield single deep into the hole at shortstop and senior Mason Katz (2-for-4) followed with a single into left field. Sophomore Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) came in for sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) (1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R) and uncorked a wild pitch that advanced both runners into scoring position. The righty had senior Raph Rhymes pop up to sophomore second baseman Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) and walked junior Christian Ibarra (2-for-3) intentionally to fill the bags with one down. Ross followed with a fly ball to straightway center field that brought across Bregman with the decisive run. Senior Chris Cotton worked a perfect ninth inning to collect his 10th save, senior Joey Bourgeois (3-1) earned the win for the hosts and Harris (4-3) took the loss.
The Gators had broken the ice with an unearned run in the third inning against sophomore Cody Glenn. Senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) (2-for-4) had consecutive one-out bunt singles and Turgeon earned a free pass to load the bases. Although Glenn fielded a grounder by sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) and threw out Dent at the plate, the Tigers failed to execute the inning-ending double play on a fielding error by Katz. Martin was able to score on the play, with Turgeon taking third base and Gushue remaining on first base. Glenn prevented further trouble by having sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) fly out to center field.
The Tigers evened the game in the bottom of the frame on a two-out RBI single into left field by Katz. Sophomore Tyler Moore and junior Sean McMullen drew consecutive walks from junior Jonathon Crawford (Okeechobee, Fla.), who then caught freshman Mark Laird looking on strikes and had Bregman fly out to Shafer in right field. Katz stroked a base-hit into left field for his SEC-leading 62nd RBI to knot the game at a run apiece.
Junior JaCoby Jones gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead in the fourth with a two-out homer into the left-field stands. It was his fourth round-tripper of the campaign.
A one-out double in the sixth by Ibarra into right center ended the night for Crawford, who allowed six hits and two runs over 5.1 innings, with four strikeouts and three walks. Harris came in and notched consecutive strikeouts of Ross and Jones to hold UF’s deficit at one run.
Sophomore Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) singled sharply to left field with two down in the seventh, ending a stretch of 12 consecutive Gators set down by Glenn. Moments later, freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) tied the game with a double into the gap in left center, scoring Tobias all the way from first base, with Bader taking third on the relay throw to the dish. Bader’s sixth two-bagger of the campaign prompted a pitching change, as junior Nick Rumbelow replaced Glenn (6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 6 K, 1 BB) and struck out Dent to preserve the stalemate.
Martin greeted Bourgeois with a leadoff single into the eighth stanza to right field and the right-hander had Turgeon fly out to center before striking out Gushue. Martin stole second for his fifth theft of the year and Shafer earned a free pass before Bourgeois had redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) ground out to first base to complete the frame.
Florida will send sophomore left-hander Bobby Poyner (Wellington, Fla.) (2-1, 4.22) to the mound tomorrow in the second game of the series against LSU sophomore right-hander Aaron Nola (8-0, 2.14). The contest will be carried on Cox Sports Channel 259 and 1259 HD in Gainesville at 7:30 p.m. and can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell. Live audio and stats will be available on GatorZone.com and fans can also follow updates of each game on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball program.
· LSU snapped a four-game losing streak to Florida at Alex Box Stadium dating back to the 2009 season.
· The Gators are now 12-11 against ranked teams this season.
· Florida’s stretch of five-straight one-run victories came to an end and it is now 6-8 in one-run affairs.
· Freshman Richie Martin registered his ninth multiple-hit outing of the season.
· The Gators played error-free baseball for the 22nd time this year (12-10).
· The Tigers held an 8-6 advantage in hits.
· Sophomore Ryan Harris made his SEC-leading 28th appearance.