After posting an 8-5 victory on Friday night, today's win marked the first time that UF (20-5/7-1 SEC) has defeated the Tigers (15-10/2-6 SEC in a series three-consecutive years.
Keating (4-0) scattered seven hits and totaled a career-high six strikeouts in
becoming the first Florida pitcher to go the distance since Bryan Augenstein ousted Alabama from the SEC Tournament on May 24, 2007 with a
3-2 decision. In running their home winning streak to 10 games, the
Gators improved to 17-1 at McKethan Stadium, matching last season's win
total on their own turf. Seniors Jon Townsend and Brandon
McArthur were each 3-for-4 as part of a 14-hit output
for the Orange and Blue.
"Patrick certainly grinded it out this afternoon," head coach Kevin
O'Sullivan said. "He was a little under the weather before the game
but was sharp and on top of his pitches. Anytime we can score three in
the first inning, it gives us a little breathing room. He threw a ton of
strikes all day long. When our pitchers can do that against a good
hitting team like LSU, we can be successful. It was good for him to get
the complete game and it also saved our bullpen. I thought we had a
great approach today at the plate and are swinging the bats pretty well."
"Today was a big win for us and the defense played really well behind
me," Keating said. "Buddy (Munroe) also caught a good game. Sully said
something before the game that a lot of people pitch better when they
are sick because they are relaxed. I was relaxed today for some reason.
I've been focusing on my mechanics and getting ahead early in the count."
The Gators burst out of the gates with three runs on five hits in the
first inning off Tiger junior southpaw Ryan Verdugo (4-2), who entered
the contest ninth in the SEC with a 2.52 earned run average. Junior
Avery Barnes led off with a base-hit into right and
scored all the way from first base on sophomore Jonathan Pigott's
seventh double of the season. Senior Dustin Bamberg
sliced a two-out RBI single through the right side
and Townsend followed with another base-hit before McArthur poked his
sixth double to drive in Bamberg.
Florida tacked on a pair of runs in the third on a two-run single by
Townsend for a 5-0 lead. Sophomore Cole Figueroa and
freshman Josh Adams started things off with
consecutive singles and advanced into scoring position on a grounder by
Bamberg. Townsend drove in his teammates with a sharp single into
center, McArthur followed with his second hit of the day and sophomore
Matt den Dekker was plunked to load the bases.
Junior Jordan Brown entered the game for Verdugo (2.1 IP, 10 H, 5 R) and
struck out both sophomore Buddy Munroe and Barnes to keep
the Tigers' deficit at five runs.
The Bayou Bengals got on the board with two down in the fifth against
Keating courtesy of heads-up base-running by sophomore Sean Ochinko.
Freshman DJ LeMahieu legged out an infield hit to the second-base bag,
Ochinko moved to third and then sped home to beat the relay to the plate
for a 5-1 count.
den Dekker connected on his fourth homer, second of the series, to
finalize the 7-1 margin in the seventh. McArthur matched a season high
with his third hit and stole second base before den Dekker's dinger
cleared the fence in right field to end the afternoon for Brown (4.0 IP,
3 H, 6 K, 3 BB). Junior Louis Coleman worked the final 1.2 innings for
Freshman Leon Landry and LeMahieu each went 2-for-3 for LSU, while
Pigott (2-for-5) joined McArthur and Townsend with multiple hits for the
home team. The Gators were 4-of-5 on the basepaths and did not commit
any errors. Freshman RHP Tommy Toledo (4-0, 1.93) will
pitch Sunday's finale at 1 p.m., live on Sun Sports, against an LSU
pitcher to be determined.
Courtesy UF Sports Information
Keating Complete Game Leads Gators
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