BATON ROUGE, La. — It was back to form Friday for the Florida baseball team in SEC road games.
After getting routed the night before, No. 14 LSU returned the favor, rocking Florida 13-1 on 16 hits. For the Gators, it was more of the same after being outscored 74-24 in being swept at Vanderbilt and Ole Miss earlier this season.
The teams will settle the series beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2) in Game 3.
“The biggest thing with pitching against LSU is you have to control the leadoff hitter innings, because it’s very much momentum-type offense,” UF coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “First three innings, the leadoff man got on, and they ended up scoring a couple runs.
“We had 7-8-9 in the fourth inning, we get two outs, nobody on, and real quick we get an 0-2 count, and we don’t locate a slider off the plate … we get through that inning without giving up a run, we got a little bit of momentum, and who knows what happens. Unfortunately, we didn’t. And they ended up putting three runs on the board. We were one strike away from getting out of the inning with no damage.”
After falling behind early in Thursday’s 16-9 loss to the Gators (26-15, 7-10 SEC), the Tigers (25-15, 10-7) made sure to score early and often Friday. They scored in the second inning when Cade Beloso doubled and later scored on a groundout by Saul Garza.
LSU made it 2-0 in the third on Daniel Cabrera’s RBI double.
UF sliced into the lead in the fourth on Cory Acton’s solo home run, his second of the season and of the series.
The Tigers began to break the game open with three runs in the fourth for a 5-1 lead. Drew Bianco doubled, Josh Smith walked and Bianco scored on a single by Brant Broussard. Smith later scored on an error and Antoine Duplantis drove in Broussard with a single.
LSU added five runs on four hits in the fifth for a 10-1 lead. Beloso started the frame with a solo home run.
Cabrera hit a three-run home run in the seventh to stretch the LSU lead to 13-1.
Christian Scott (3-3), who was moved up in the rotation in place of announced starter Jack Leftwich, didn’t make it out of the fourth.
Tiger freshman starter Cole Henry (4-2) was in charge from the start. He lasted 5.1 innings, but struck out 12 and gave up only four hits.
“The other part was we ran into a really good pitcher tonight,” O’Sullivan said. “(Cole Henry) threw the ball really well. We weren’t quite as aggressive as we probably needed to be; we took a bunch of fastball strikes early. But credit their starter. He was really, really good.”