COURTESY OF UAA COMMUNICATIONS
Florida (15-8, 1-3 SEC) manufactured a run in the sixth inning it held up over the final three innings against LSU (17-6, 3-1 SEC) as UF won its first conference game of the year.
A week after surrendering six runs and six walks, Faedo was as sharp as he has been all season on Friday against LSU. He worked six scoreless innings, scattering seven hits – all singles – and struck out seven with no walks.
“Sully challenged me a little bit and he wanted another good outing,” Faedo said after the game. “I can’t give those bad outings anymore to start a series. It was a nice win out there, I put up a lot of zeros and we got the W.”
On the other side, Lange finished with eight innings and allowed one run on six Florida hits.
The Gators’ Deacon Liput, who entered the game slumping with a .192 average, went 3-for-4 at the plate and scored the lone run of the game on JJ Schwarz’s sacrifice fly.
Florida had the first real scoring chance of the game in the fifth inning but failed to capitalize. Nelson Maldonado and Mike Rivera led off with back-to-back singles and the Gators loaded the bases after Christian Hicks reached on a throwing error.
LSU’s Lange was up to the challenge, as he escaped the jam with a pair of strikeouts and a lineout to second base to end the threat.
After Faedo worked a scoreless sixth, UF got into scoring position again as Liput led off with a double into the right field corner. A sac bunt moved him to third and Florida took a 1-0 lead on Schwarz’s long sacrifice fly to left field to bring home Liput.
Freshman Tyler Dyson took the mound for UF in the ninth to close out the win, but walked the first batter he faced.
Dyson didn’t hang his head though, as he struck out the next three batters for his second save of the season.
Game two of the series between Florida and LSU is Saturday at 3 p.m. The game will air on ESPN2 and will be available to stream via the WatchESPN app. It will also be live on the Gators IMG Sports Network.
Sunday’s finale will air live on SEC Network at 1 p.m.
Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan Quotes…
“We needed to win one. Losing all three last weekend, we put ourselves a little bit behind the eight ball. Alex pitched great, both Alex’s, they pitched really good, they were both on their game. You could kind of sense that it was going to be a low scoring game. Once we got to about the fourth inning you could kind of sense it.”
On Deacon Liput’s three hit night and the offensive approach:
“He shortened his stroke up, choked up a little bit. We’ve been moving the lineup around a bunch and just decided, you know what, for our lineup to go, to improve, Deacon needs to hit in the two hole. Dalton needs to lead off. We need to get our best hitters at the top and they need to figure it out. Tonight was one of those nights, Lange was on his game, it was going back and forth, he was hitting his breaking ball, hitting his changeups. He usually goes glove side and he was going back and forth with his fastball. We had a play [offensively], but it changed offensively. You could tell he was hitting his breaking ball and the plan offensively was attack the fastball. That’s why he had so many quick innings to start the game. The only disappointing part really, we had the bases loaded with nobody out and we had a senior up then a junior, they brought the infield in with nobody out. That kind of shows you what they thought of our Alex and that it was going to be a low scoring game. We’ve got to put the ball in play. We had the same situation last week at Auburn, bases loaded nobody out, twice on Saturday, and we only managed one run. The infield’s going to be in, and I know Alex Lange’s really but, but the bottom line is we’ve got to put the ball in play. We can’t get to two strikes. We’ve got to be aggressive and put the ball in play.”