No. 3 LSU (43-6, 19-5) defeated No. 21 Florida (25-23, 12-12) on Friday night to win the series. The Tigers entered today's game with a chance to pick up another SEC series sweep. They did just that by dismantling the Gators by a score of 18-6. It was a very productive day for LSU at the plate as the Tigers collected 19 hits against a hard-throwing Florida pitching staff.
The scoring in this one started early and often. Florida took an early 2-0 lead over LSU in the first inning when they came out swinging and strung several hits together off of LSU starter Ryan Eades.
It took an inning, but LSU struck right back with three runs of their own in the second. The scoring for the Tigers began when JaCoby Jones doubled down the left field line to bring in two LSU runners. From that point on, it was all Tigers. After the second inning, Florida starter Danny Young was pulled.
LSU produced a four-run fifth inning with the help of a bases-clearing double by junior Christian Ibarra. The Tigers followed that up with a monstrous sixth inning. The Tigers produced eight runs in the inning on five hits. The Tigers had already produced four runs in the inning when JaCoby Jones came to the plate and drove one off of the left field scoreboard to clear the bases.
LSU finished it's scoring in the seventh inning when Chris Chinea doubled with the bases loaded to bring three runs home.
Jones led the Tigers at the plate on Saturday by going 2-5 with a double, grand slam, and six RBI. Freshman Alex Bregman also had a big day at the plate as he finished the game by going 3-5 with two doubles and three RBI.
Sean McMullen and Ibarra both added three hits for the Tigers. The pair also scored two runs each. In his only at bat, Chinea brought home three runs to add to the Tigers lead.
LSU coach Paul Mainieri explained that he knew his team would come out hot today because of the attitudes that they displayed prior to the game.
"We all kind thought that the bats were going to get hot today," said Mainieri. "The conditions were much more conducive to hitting, unlike last night. I had a feeling our guys would come out and play. They wanted to come out and finish the job today. We swung the bats extremely well."
After last weekend's series loss to South Carolina, Alex Bregman said that he hoped that LSU came out this weekend with more fire and confidence. Following the game on Saturday, Bregman explained he knew that LSU would come out and play strong today, especially with the JaCoby Jones homerun. This is something that he feels will result in a lot of victories for the Tigers.
"When we play like that, I don't think we can be beat," said Bregman. "JaCoby hit the furthest ball that I've ever seen hit out of here. We needed that as an offense after the lull that we had been on."
Mainier was also very complimentary of what he saw out of JaCoby Jones today.
"The kid has enormous talent and the balls that he hits are starting to fall for him," said Mainieri. "The first ball he hit was a double down the line that scored two runs. He's been swinging the bat well and it only makes us a better team."
LSU got another solid performance from junior Ryan Eades. Eades threw six innings on Saturday and only allowed two runs on three hits while striking out six. Two of the three hits that Eades allowed came in the first inning and he didn't allow another hit until the sixth inning.
Regardless of the shaky start for Eades, Mainieri was very happy with the performance that he saw from his Saturday starter.
"Ryan had a rough first inning," said Mainieri. "But he settled down and thre five shutout innings for us to keep us in the game. It was a great way to finish off the weekend."
LSU will not have a midweek game this week as they prepare to travel to take on Texas A&M next weekend to continue SEC Play. The Tigers will return home on Tuesday, May 14th when they take on the University of New Orleans in Alex Box Stadium.
LSU dismantles Florida, 18-6
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