The Florida Gators (19-9) completed a series sweep over No. 4 LSU (20-8) Sunday afternoon at McKethan Stadium. Florida won the final game of the series 11-7 after sweeping the first two games in a doubleheader on Saturday. It was the Gators’ fourth win in a row and puts them atop the SEC standings.
There was plenty of offense in the grudge match with Florida scoring nine unanswered runs starting in the third inning. That would give them the lead, but the Tigers threatened in the ninth by scoring three runs. The ninth inning home run by right fielder Chris Sciambra came with two outs and killed any momentum LSU was gaining by clearing the bases before the final out.
Freshman John Sternagel paced the offensive attack for the Gators going 1-2 with a walk and three RBI. Shortstop Richie Martin, first baseman Peter Alonso, and junior Mike Fahrman each collected two RBI. Center fielder Harrison Bader got Florida on the board in the first inning with a two-out home run off Tigers’ starter Zac Person (1-1) to tie the game.
Florida and LSU exchanged runs in both halves of the first three innings. The two combined for 11 hits and 10 runs with the game only a third of the way through.
Florida starter Justin Shafer allowed four runs on six hits and lasted only 2.0 innings. He would stay in the game as the DH after leaving the mound and going 1-1 with three walks and two runs scored.
Freshman Kirby Snead (1-0) picked up his first collegiate victory after tossing 4.2 innings in relief and giving up no runs and only two hits. It was a solid performance from Snead who was able to quiet the Tiger bats in the middle of the game giving the Gator offense time to produce insurance runs.
The Tigers used six pitchers in the contest, with five of them surrendering runs to the Gators. Person took the loss for LSU after pitching 2.2 innings and allowing five runs on four hits.
Left fielder Jake Fraley was 2-4 with two RBI and a run scored for the Tigers. He was the only LSU hitter with multiple hits on the day.
The Gators collected 11 runs on 10 hits with one error, and LSU had seven runs on 10 hits with one error. Florida swept LSU for the fourth time and first since 2011. Florida also is now 8-0 in games in which they hit a home run.
Florida will host Florida Atlantic (15-12) on Tuesday night at 7 PM. The Gators will go for the fifth win in a row and their 20th win of the season. The Owls have lost six of their last eight contests and have failed to score more than three runs in all of those games. The Florida pitching staff should be able to take advantage and notch a midweek win for the Gators.