No. 6 Gators Top Tigers Twice, Take Series

The Gator baseball team took out the LSU Tigers in their regularly scheduled game Saturday afternoon 7-3, before adding an 8-5 victory in the completion of Friday night's suspended game, giving the Gators a unique doubleheader sweep of the defending College World Series champs.

With the wins the Gators clinched their sixth series win in seven SEC weekends. Florida (30-11, 14-6) will try to sweep LSU (32-12, 11-9) in the series finale Sunday afternoon at McKethan Stadium. The Gators' only SEC sweep this season came in their first weekend set with Mississippi State.

The day began with the normally scheduled game and saw LSU grab the lead with a first inning run. Florida answered in the second and then took control of the game as easy as one, two, three. They scored one in the third inning, two in the fourth and added three in the fifth to go up 7-1.

That was more than enough for freshman righthander Hudson Randall who scattered seven hits and allowed just one run in eight innings of work for his fifth win of the season. LSU scored two meaningless runs in the ninth, but the Gators had the win. Six different Florida hitters drove in runs, led by outfielder Jonathan Pigott who had two RBI. Pigott's run scoring double was the key hit in the three run fifth inning rally.

Once that game was over the teams took a little break before resuming Friday night's suspended game. It looked like it would be a cakewalk for the Gators who were already up seven runs. Florida scored in the first inning and added three each in the second and third to take command of the contest. Then the Gators added a score in the fifth inning to make it 8-0. However LSU scored four in the sixth off Gator reliever Greg Larson and added another in the seventh off Nick Maronde to make it interesting.

Florida closer Kevin Chapman put an end to the drama with two and two thirds of hitless relief to nail down his eight save of the season while Friday's starting pitcher Alex Panteliodis got his team leading seventh win.

Josh Adams led the Gator attack with a three run homer, his seventh of the season while Tyler Thompson also drove in three runs with a triple and a sacrifice fly.


The two wins move the Gators to within one game of SEC leading South Carolina. The Gamecocks (15-5) lost to Alabama Saturday afternoon 6-4 to even that series at a game apiece. Florida's 14-6 SEC mark is tied with Arkansas for the second best in the SEC with ten conference games to go.


Perhaps the most significant thing about the two wins was that they came without major contributions from the two guys who have carried the team all season Preston Tucker and Austin Maddox. Maddox did drive in a run in each game and was 3-for-7 but all three hits were singles. Tucker was 1-for-7 in the games and did not drive in a run.


Freshman lefty Brian Johnson will take the mound Sunday afternoon trying to pitch the Gators to a sweep. Johnson (3-2. 2.91) entered the weekend with the best ERA among Florida starters. He was dominant his last time out, holding the SEC's top offensive team Arkansas to just three hits in seven inning while striking out nine.

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