Photo by Danny Parker

Singer magnificent in Gators series clinching win over LSU

Florida’s starting pitching once again showed its mettle, as Brady Singer tossed a complete game in the Gators 8-1 win over No. 4 LSU at McKethan Stadium to clinch the series over the Tigers.

 COURTESY OF UAA COMMUNICATIONS

Florida (16-8, 2-3 SEC) struck early and often on Saturday and limited LSU (17-7, 3-2 SEC) to just one run on five hits.

Singer was fantastic once again. He tossed his first complete career game and allowed just one run after a leadoff double in the fourth inning came around to score. He has limited opponents to two earned runs or less in all six of his starts this season.

In the first two games of the series, UF’s starting pitchers – Singer and Alex Faedo – have held a potent Tigers offense to just one run in 16 innings with 11 strikeouts and zero walks.

Over the past three games against LSU, including a 1-0 win in the SEC Tournament, the Gators have allowed just one run in 27 innings.

On the offensive side, Florida tallied 10 hits and scored a run in six of eight offensive frames. Mike Rivera went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI on the afternoon while Nelson Maldonado (2-for-2, 2 R, 2 BB) and Christian Hicks (1-for-3) also had two RBI apiece.

Entering the game, LSU starter Jared Poche had allowed just one run in 36 innings pitched, but the Gators got to him early.

In the second inning, UF loaded the bases and got a run after a pitch hit Hicks. Florida manufactured a run in the third after Deacon Liput picked up his fourth hit of the series.

Maldonado stroked a two-out, RBI single to center field to make it 2-0.

The Tigers got a run back in the following inning. Antoine Duplantis led off with a double and came in to score on a groundout to first.

Florida answered immediately, pushing the lead back to two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Ryan Larson led off with a single and moved around the bases on a couple of groundouts.

A wild pitch from Poche allowed Larson to trot home from third for a 3-1 lead.

Singer worked out of a jam in the fifth for a scoreless frame and Florida knocked Poche out of the game in the bottom of the inning.

JJ Schwarz led off with a stand-up double to left and Maldonado doubled to bring home Schwarz. Rivera then drew a walk and LSU made the call to the bullpen.

Right-hander Austin Bain took over and got out of the inning without any further damage.

In the seventh, Florida struck again after Maldonado led off with a walk. Rivera laced a ball into the gap in right center to score Maldonado from first for a 5-1 lead.

The Gators added three more runs in the eighth inning on RBI singles from Schwarz and Rivera and a RBI double from Hicks.

Game three of the series between Florida and LSU is Sunday at 1 p.m. The game will air on SEC Network and will be available to stream via the WatchESPN app. It will also be live on the Gators IMG Sports Network.

Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan Quotes

Opening statement:

“I’ve said it all along, obviously it’s been a little bit frustrating, but the guys that needed to hit have had really good weekends so far. Deacon’s had a great weekend, especially today against Poche, left on left, JJ’s swinging the bat really good, Nelly’s had a good weekend so far. Mike Rivera’s had a really good weekend. If we can just get a couple more guys going. I’ve said all along, I do like our offense. We had some opportunities with runners at third again and we didn’t get them in, we’ve got to do better there. Certain guys in the lineup are going to be asked to handle the short game, we’ve just got to get a little bit better there as well.

“With the starting pitching we have, those guys have been great, and that’s not an easy lineup to throw to. They’ve got a lot of different ways to score, they’ve got three or four guys that can really run in their lineup. They’ve got some strength with Deichmann there in the middle. It’s not an easy lineup. But our starting pitching has been good, and it needed to be because that’s a very good offense.”

 

On Brady Singer’s performance:

“It was good. He’s got an explosive fastball. It sinks. He can throw it to both sides of the plate. He’s got a good slider. He threw a couple quality changeups today. It’s a fastball maybe similar to Tanner Houck’s, at Missouri. It’s just different. You talk about spin rate, those types of things. It’s just a fastball that’s different. They’re hard to find. A guy’s got a good fastball when the hitter knows it’s coming and they can’t do much damage with it. That’s a real fastball. He was a second rounder for a reason out of high school. He pitched really good today.”


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