The Tigers (5-0) erupted for a seven-run eighth inning highlighted by two Ochinko RBI and two RBI by pinch hitter Tyler Hanover. The Tigers also collected over 10 hits for the fourth time this season with 15 on Friday.
Sophomore right-hander Anthony Ranaudo (2-0) had a brilliant performance, firing three perfect innings before surrendering his first hit in the fourth. Ranaudo worked 6.1 innings, allowing one run on three hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts.
“I think now Tiger fans have a glimpse of why I’m so high on Ranaudo,” head coach Paul Mainieri said. “That was a Friday night performance and I know he’s going to be a great one.”
Centerfielder Leon Landry led off the LSU first inning with a towering home run deep over the right field wall to put the Tigers up 1-0. It was Landry’s fourth homer of the season.
LeMahieu, who finished 2-for-3, continued his 21-game hit streak dating back to last season with a solo homer to lead off the LSU second inning. The next batter, right fielder Jared Mitchell, who finished 2-for-4, reached on an infield single and stole second and third. It was Mitchell’s fourth and fifth stolen bases of the season. Ochinko, then lined a single up the middle to score Mitchell and put the Tigers up 3-0.
First baseman Kiko Vazquez homered to lead off the UCF fifth inning to cut the LSU lead to 3-1.
In the seventh inning, left fielder Blake Dean singled off the wall in right followed by a Micah Gibbs double that advanced Dean to third. The next batter, LeMahieu, blasted his second homer over the wall in straight-away centerfield to put LSU ahead 6-1.
UCF cut the lead to 6-2 in the eighth inning when pinch hitter Chadd Hartman singled in Austin Smith.
Dean, who finished 2-for-4, singled in the bottom of the eighth to score Landry, who walked earlier in the inning, to put LSU ahead 7-2. The Tigers exploded for six more runs in the eighth beginning with a single by Ochinko that scored Dean and LeMahieu to give the Tigers an 8-2 lead.
Chad Jones was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Hanover, who doubled down the line to score Mitchell and Ochinko. Mikie Mahtook reached safely on a fielding error, scoring Jones, and senior Buzzy Haydel singled through the right side to score Hanover to increase the lead to 13-2.
UCF put two more runs on the board in the top of the ninth when Vazquez hit his second homer of the game, a two-run shot to account for the final margin.
The series continues Saturday at 2 p.m. CT and will conclude Sunday at 1 p.m.
LSU will send sophomore right-hander Daniel Bradshaw (0-0) to the mound Saturday to start the game. UCF will counter with junior right-hander Austin Hudson (0-0).