Saturday May 4, 2013No. 3 LSU Completes Sweep of Florida Baseball
Baton Rouge, La.
Baton Rouge, La.
No. 3 LSU (43-6/19-5 SEC) used a 19-hit offensive outburst to hand Florida (25-23/12-12 SEC) an 18-6 setback on Saturday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium to take all three games of the series. The Tigers collected their fourth-consecutive win and handed the Gators their fourth loss in a row. Junior JaCoby Jones (2-for-5) had a career-high six RBI, including a grand slam during an eight-run sixth inning, while freshman Alex Bregman went 3-for-5 with three RBI and scored three runs for the hosts.
The Gators jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning against junior right-hander Ryan Eades (8-1) on an RBI triple by sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) (2-for-3) and a sacrifice fly by sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.). Sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (3-for-4) had singled up the middle with one down and Gushue lined a triple off of the wall in right field to put the visitors on the scoreboard. Shafer followed with his fourth sacrifice fly of the season to straightaway center field to bring home Gushue.
Sophomore Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) earned a free pass with one down in the second inning and moved into scoring position with his fifth stolen base. After Eades struck out freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.), Tobias swiped third base with two out. However, Eades responded with an inning-ending strikeout of senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.).
LSU answered with three runs on three hits in the home part of the inning to seize a 3-2 advantage. Senior Mason Katz (2-for-3) led off with a single into center field and senior Raph Rhymes (2-for-3, two runs) had a base-hit through the left side of the infield before junior Christian Ibarra (3-for-3, two RBI, two runs) was hit by freshman starter Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) (3-4) to load the bases with none out. A fielderís choice by junior Ty Ross (1-for-4, two runs) resulted in Katz being thrown out at the plate and Jones tied the game with a two-run double down the left-field line. Freshman Andrew Stevensonís RBI grounder to second base scored Ross to move the Tigers in front.
Turgeon drew a one-out walk in the third and stole second base before Shafer earned a free pass on four pitches with two down. Eades had redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) fly out to center field to strand the runners.
Freshman Eric Hanhold (Palm Harbor, Fla.) replaced Young (2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R) prior to the Tigersí third at bat and issued a leadoff walk to freshman Mark Laird. After Katz punched a one-out single into center field, Hanhold induced an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play on a grounder by Rhymes.
LSU tallied four runs on three hits in the fifth, highlighted by a bases-clearing double by Ibarra, to build a 7-2 advantage. Junior Sean McMullen (3-for-4, two runs) began the stanza with a double down the right-field line and went to third on a one-out wild pitch by Hanhold. Bregman expanded LSUís lead to 4-2 with a two-bagger to left field, prompting a pitching change. Sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) took over for Hanhold (2.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R) and walked Katz for runners on the corners and one down. After Katz stole second for two Tigers in scoring position, Rhymes was walked intentionally to bring junior Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) out of the bullpen for Harris. Ibarra greeted the reliever with a double to left field that plated Bregman and Katz, with Rhymes also coming home on a fielding error by Bader. †
The Tigers added eight more runs in the sixth on seven hits to increase their margin to 15-2. Stevenson began the inning with a bunt single to third base, McMullen singled through the right side to advance his teammate to third and Laird walked to fill the bags. Bregman had a two-run double into right center, Katz had an RBI grounder and Rhymes sliced an RBI single through the right side of the infield. Consecutive singles by Ibarra and Ross loaded the bases and freshman Jay Carmichael (Cape Coral, Fla.) took over for Gibson. Jones connected on a grand slam to left field to empty the sacks, his fifth round-tripper of the campaign, second of the series and LSUís first grand slam of the season. Freshman Chris Chinea had a three-run double with two down in the seventh for an 18-2 score.
Florida used six-consecutive singles in the ninth to complete the scoring at 18-6. With one down, sophomore Connor Mitchell (Tampa, Fla.) had a pinch-hit single to first base, freshman Brady Roberson (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) had a pinch-hit single into left field and freshman Christian Dicks (Jacksonville, Fla.) had a base-hit into left field to load the bases. Freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) drove in Mitchell with a run-scoring single into left field and Turgeonís base-knock to left brought home Roberson. Freshman Kevin Stypulkowski (Lake Worth, Fla.) came through with an RBI single into right field to plate Dicks and a fielderís choice by redshirt freshman Cory Reid (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) scored Martin with the Gatorsí final run. LSU had a 19-11 advantage in hits, with six different players turning in multiple-hit efforts.
UF will begin a five-game stretch at McKethan Stadium on Monday night when it hosts Florida A&M (5-40). The contest against the Rattlers can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Mick Hubert. 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.