The Florida baseball team dropped its opening game of a three game series 3-2 to number three LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Thursday night. The Gators fall to 25-21 and 12-10 in the SEC. The Tigers improved to 41-6 and 17-5 in conference play.
Florida started Jonathon Crawford on the mound against the Bayou Bengals; he went five and a third innings, allowing six hits, two runs, three walks while striking out four on 98 pitches. Reliever Ryan Harris (4-3) came in relief for Crawford and was charged with the loss, allowing a run on two hits in an inning and two thirds of work. Despite the loss, Gators head coach Kevin O’Sullivan says he liked the way the pitching staff battled.
LSU’s starter Cody Glenn threw threw six and two thirds innings, allowing five hits, two runs, one earned, while walking one and striking out six on 100 pitches. Joey Bourgeois picked up his third win of the season for the Tigers in relief and closer Chris Cotton picked up his 10th save of the season. The Gators struck out 10 times against LSU hurlers and O’Sullivan says they need more production out of their lineup.
Florida opened the scoring in the third and it turned out to be a key point in the game. With one out Cody Dent and Richie Martin both reached on drag bunt singles and Casey Turgeon walked to load the bases. Taylor Gushue hit a bouncer back to the pitcher for a force at home but LSU first baseman Mason Katz dropped a return throw to allow a run to score. But Florida could not score more as Justin Shafer flied out.
The Gators would not get another hit until the seventh inning when with two outs Josh Tobias singled and later scored on a double by Harrison Bader to tie the game at 2-2. However, LSU scored the winning run in the eighth as Alex Bregman and Mason Katz singled and with one out, Christian Ibarra was intentionally walked. However, catcher Ty Ross hit a sacrifice fly to plate a run.
The Tigers improved to 8-0 in SEC series openers this season. The Gators fell to 5-3 in those games.
Florida will send lefty Bobby Poyner to the mound for the second game of the three game series. LSU will counter with RHP Aaron Nola who is 8-0 on the season with a 2.14 ERA. O’Sullivan says the Gators will need to be ready to swing the bat at the plate.
You can catch all of the action on Country 103-7 the Gator starting at 7:25pm Friday.