Josh Smith (Photo by Terrill Weil)

LSU's bats wake up to avoid sweep in 10-6 win over Florida

LSU's bats came alive late in the final game of the series against Florida to avoid a sweep, winning in Gainesville, 10-6.

It was a tale of two halves of Sunday's matchup between LSU and Florida in Gainesville, Fla. as the Tigers woke up after five innings to come back from down 5-0 to win, 10-6, avoiding a sweep at the hands of the Gators.

Right fielder Greg Deichmann, who struggled in Game 1 and 2 of the series, ignited a six-run eighth inning with a single to bring the Tigers back and take an 8-6 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth. 

The result was a LSU scoring those six runs thanks to two-run home runs from Josh SmithBeau Jordan and Cole Freeman. Jordan singled in the sixth inning to get LSU on the board with two RBIs and to cut the Florida lead to 5-2. At that point, LSU had just one run in the previous 23 innings against the Gators.

"That eighth inning was remarkable with three homers after we had struggled most of the weekend with scoring opportunities against some outstanding pitching," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "It’s a great win for our team, and we’re pleased to end this series in such a positive way.”

Jordan got his second start of the weekend at designated hitter for LSU and delivered in a big way, going 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs. 

The first five innings were all Florida with Jackson Kowar pitching five innings of shutout ball until giving up two runs in the top of the sixth. The Gator bullpen allowed eight hits and eight runs once Kowar exited.

On the flip side, LSU starting pitcher Eric Walker went 4.2 innings, giving up five runs on five hits while walking four, but also recorded six strikeouts. Once Walker exited, the LSU bullpen of Matt Beck, Nick Bush and Caleb Gilbert gave up no hits, a run (unearned) and walked two. 

After Jordan's single to get LSU on the board, the Gators answered with a sac fly to score Deacon Liput, who advanced to third on a throwing error after stealing second base. 

That would be it for the Gators, who allowed LSU to tack on two insurance runs in the top of the ninth thanks to an attempted sac bunt by Zach Watson, who reached third on a throwing error, allowing Deichmann to score. Smith later flied out to right field, bringing in Watson. 

The win to avoid the sweep allows LSU to bring a little momentum heading into a Tuesday matchup against Tulane at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

“I’m so proud of the way our team never stopped competing and came back to earn a very important victory,” said Mainieri. “We faced a lot of adversity in this series, but our kids never relented and we finally got the bats going."

Bush ended up getting the win for LSU, who allowed a run with no hits, two walks and one strikeout.

The Tigers face off against the Green Wave on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network +, which is available online at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app.


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