Courtesy of University of Florida Athletic Association

No.12 Gator Baseball Returns Home to Host No.4 LSU In SEC Showdown

After a four-game road stretch that saw the 12th ranked Gator baseball team get swept at Auburn and then win in 11 innings at Stetson, they return to Gainesville to host SEC foe LSU for a three-game series.

Florida

The Gators come into the game with a 14-8 record. That includes an 0-3 SEC record and them going just 4-6 in their past 10 games.

They are coming off a mid-week win however, 9-8 at Stetson in 11 innings. The Gators blew an 8-4 lead in the bottom of the 10th inning before scoring a run in the 11th to get the win.  While Stetson is unranked, the win is a big boost for Florida, 2-0 in their last two mid-week games after starting the season 1-4 in that category.

Another bright spot for the Gators is that the bats have woken up a little bit in the past two outings. After scoring four or less runs in over half of their games, the Gators have combined for 14 runs in their past two. In addition, players like Ryan Larson and Jonathan India have been stepping up at the plate to make up for slow starts from guys like Mike Rivera and Deacon Liput. Larson is on a five game hit streak while India is 7-for-19 (.368 avg) with a home run and three RBI in his last five games.

LSU

The Tigers enter the series with a 17-5 record and as the fourth ranked team in the nation. While Florida started their SEC schedule by getting swept, LSU started it by doing the sweeping. They took all three games in their series with Georgia last weekend and are also coming off an 8-2 mid-week win.

The Tigers do a lot of their damage at the plate as they’re an explosive offensive team. They’ve scored eight runs or more in 10 of their 22 games, and have scored at least seven in over half of their games.

The reigning National and SEC Player of the Week is LSU sophomore left-fielder Antoine Duplantis. Duplantis hit .425 in five games last week, going 10-for-23 at the plate. Other big bats in the Tiger lineup include senior second baseman Cole Freeman (.400 avg) and junior right-fielder Greg Deichmann (.363 avg) , who leads the SEC in home runs with eight on the season.

On the mound, the standout is senior Jared Poche. Poche boasts a perfect 5-0 record and has a ridiculously low 0.25 ERA on the season.

Previous Meetings

LSU leads the all-time series 60-45-1, but Florida is 16-13 against the Tigers since Kevin O’Sullivan became the Gators’ head coach. Florida went 2-3 against LSU last season.  You can hear all the games live this weekend on either ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF or Country 103-7 The Gator.

Game Times and Pitching Matchups

Friday: 7 p.m.

Alex Faedo (3-1, 2.93 ERA) vs. Alex Lange (3-1, 5.04 ERA)

Saturday: 3 p.m.

Brady Singer (2-1, 1.74 ERA) vs. Jared Poche (5-0, 0.25 ERA)

Sunday: 1 p.m.

Jackson Kowar (3-0, 2.35 ERA) vs. Eric Walker (3-0, 2.67 ERA)

About Jonathan Acosta

Native New Englander. Follow me on Twitter: @jonacosta_10

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