How it happened: You knew runs would be hard to come by for two reasons. It was a chilly night at Alex Box Stadium and Aaron Nola was on the mound for LSU. Nola threw his fourth straight complete game as the Tigers blanked Florida 5-0.
At the plate: LSU had nine hits, four of them came in a two-run 5th inning. The Tigers also scored one run in the 2nd inning and two more in the eighth. Raph Rhymes and Jacoby Jones each had two hits. Jones had an RBI groundout in the 2nd inning. Sean McMullen’s RBI double in the 5th inning was the hardest hit of the night.
Andrew Stevenson drove in two runs in the 8th, when he hit a groundball to the shortstop with the bases loaded. Stevenson beat the throw to first and Christian Ibarra scored from third and Ty Ross scored all the way from second base.
On the mound: What else can you say about Nola, he’s been unbelievable. Four straight complete game victories are impressive in this era of pitch counts and specialty relievers. The Baton Rouge native only struck out three on Friday night, but gave up just four hits and walked one.
It looked like Florida was going to get to Nola in the 7th inning. The first two runners singled, but Nola got the next hitter to hit a line drive to shortstop Alex Bregman, who made a nice play to his right and quickly threw to second base to record the double play.
Nola is the first LSU pitcher to throw four consecutive complete games since former Major Leaguer Mike Sirotka did it in 1993.
What it means: The victory gives LSU the series victory. It appears the Bayou Bengals have righted the ship after dropping a series to South Carolina last weekend. Unfortunately, Vanderbilt won again on Friday night, so the Tigers remain three games back of the Commodores for the overall lead in the SEC.
Up next: LSU goes for the series sweep on Saturday at noon. Ryan Eades (7-1) will get the start, looking to follow up an excellent start last weekend against the Gamecocks.