Freshman right-hander Logan Shore worked a career-high 8.2 innings Saturday night to lead Florida to a 6-2 win over fourth-ranked LSU and a sweep of an SEC doubleheader at McKethan Stadium.
The Gators won Game 1 by a final score of 2-1 on a solo, walk-off homer by leftfielder Justin Shafer in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Florida improved to 18-9 overall and 5-3 in the SEC. LSU is 20-7-1 overall and 3-4-1 in conference play.
“It was a tough day, but I don’t think there was that much separating the two teams today,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We actually out-hit them in both games, but we didn’t take advantage of the chances we had to score. The difference between winning and losing games in the SEC can be very small. We just have to keep battling and plugging away and realize that tomorrow gives us a new opportunity.
“We’ll work as hard as we can to get a win tomorrow and look forward to having our next two SEC series at home.”
Shore (2-1) limited the Tigers to two runs on six hits in 8.2 innings with one walk and five strikeouts, firing 99 pitches. LSU freshman left-hander Jared Poche’ (5-2) was charged with the loss as he allowed six runs (four earned) on four hits in five innings with three walk and one strikeout.
Shore and Poche’ were locked in a scoreless pitchers’ duel until the Gators struck for three runs – two unearned - in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, LSU second baseman Kramer Robertson mishandled Florida first baseman Peter Alonso’s potential double play grounder, allowing two runs to score. The Gators added a third run in the inning on leftfielder Ryan Larson’s sacrifice fly.
Florida extended the lead to 6-0 in the sixth when shortstop Richie Martin walked, centerfielder Harrison Bader singled and catcher Taylor Gushue unloaded a three-run homer off of Poche’.
The Tigers scored a pair of runs in the eighth inning against Shore as first baseman Conner Hale singled and catcher Tyler Moore doubled to start the frame. Hale scored on third baseman Christian Ibarra’s grounder before Moore scored on another RBI groundout by Robertson.
LSU had runners on first and second with two outs in the ninth, but reliever Bobby Poyner struck out pinch hitter Jared Foster to end the game. Poyner was credited with his second save of the season.
Shafer’s solo blast to end Game 1 came against LSU ace Aaron Nola (5-1), who limited the Gators to just two runs on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts. With two outs in the ninth, LSU appeared to be headed to its third straight extra-inning game, but Shafer’s dinger – his first of the season – gave Florida the victory.
“Aaron Nola pitched brilliantly, and it’s a shame we couldn’t score enough runs for him,” Mainieri said. “We couldn’t have asked for anything more than what he gave us on the mound today.”
Florida reliever Aaron Rhodes (3-1), who retired the final two LSU hitters in the top of the ninth, was credited with the win. Starter Eric Hanhold worked the first 7.1 innings, allowing just one run on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
LSU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning of Game 1 when designated hitter Kade Scivicque launched a solo homer, his third dinger of the season.
The Gators tied the game in the third when second baseman Casey Turgeon launched his second homer of the season, a solo shot to left-center field.