Shut down, evened up at Florida

Gators roar back to even series with a 7-0 triumph behind Crawford, Zunino.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida catcher Mike Zunino drove in three runs with a pair of doubles Friday night and right-hander Jonathon Crawford pitched 6 scoreless innings to lead top-ranked Florida to a 7-0 win over No. 7 LSU at McKethan Stadium.

Florida improved to 25-6 overall and 7-4 in the SEC, while LSU dropped to 24-7 overall and 7-4 in conference play. The loss ended LSU's seven-game win streak.

The teams conclude the series at 3 p.m. Saturday in a game that may be viewed in the Geaux Zone Sophomore right-hander Ryan Eades will start on the mound for LSU while Florida will counter with sophomore right-hander Karsten Whitson.

"We couldn't generate very much at the plate, and it just wasn't our night," Tigers coach Paul Mainieri said. "We still have the opportunity to win this series, so our focus immediately shifts to the next game and what we need to do to have a better outcome. Florida has a great team, and we certainly respect their ability, but I know we'll compete with everything we have to win (Saturday)."

Crawford (3-1) blanked the Tigers through the first six innings, allowing three hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Reliever Austin Maddox fired two scoreless innings with three strikeouts as LSU was shut out for the first time in an SEC game since May 8, 2011 at Alabama.

LSU starter Kevin Gausman was charged with the loss as he gave up six runs (five earned) in 6.1 innings with four walks and eight strikeouts.

Florida struck for two runs in the third to take a 2-0 lead Zunino ripped a two-out, 2-RBI double against Gausman. The Gators maintained the 2-0 advantage before breaking the game open with four runs in the seventh inning.

Florida sent nine batters to the plate in the seventh as shortstop Nolan Fontana delivered a 2-run single and first baseman Taylor Gushue lined an RBI double to highlight the rally.

Zunino added an RBI double in the eighth to account for the final margin.



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