LSU completes shutout of Florida to reach SEC Tournament semifinals
HOOVER, Ala. – LSU completed an 11-0 win over Florida Saturday morning to advance to the SEC Tournament semifinal round. The Tigers will face Arkansas at approximately 3:30 p.m. CT Saturday, with the winner advancing to Sunday’s championship game against either Texas A&M or Ole Miss.
LSU improved to 36-24 with the victory, while top-seeded Florida was eliminated from the tournament and dropped to 42-17 on the year.
The LSU-Arkansas game on Saturday afternoon will be televised by the SEC Network, and it can be heard on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.
The LSU-Florida game ended after the top of the seventh inning due to the 10-run mercy rule that is employed in the tournament. The game began on Friday night and was suspended just before midnight when heavy fog rolled in over Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. LSU held a 10-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when play was halted.
LSU starting pitcher Matthew Beck (3-1) earned the win, firing four shutout innings and allowing three hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Reliever Cam Sanders threw two dominating innings, retiring six of the seven batters he faced while recording four strikeouts.
LSU reliever Devin Fontenot fired a scoreless seventh inning Saturday morning with three strikeouts to end the game and send the Tigers into the semifinal round.
”I’m so proud of our guys,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri, “they came back out here this morning and picked up where they left off last night. We couldn’t have asked for much more that what we got this morning. The key to the game was the performance of Beck and Sanders. Matthew pitched out of some jams and made some big pitches, and Cam was electric when he was on the mound.”
LSU took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning against Florida starter Jack Leftwich when rightfielder Antoine Duplantis lined an RBI single and a throwing error by Gator third baseman Jonathan India allowed two unearned runs to score.
LSU erupted for seven runs in the sixth inning against relievers Hunter McMullen and Jordan Butler. A two-run single by Duplantis and a two-run double by designated hitter Daniel Cabrera highlighted an inning that also included two Florida errors, a run-scoring wild pitch and a run-scoring passed ball.
Leftwich (4-5) was charged with the loss, surrendering three runs – one earned – in five innings with two hits, one walk and seven strikeouts.
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