Purple shuts out Gold to even LSU’s Fall World Series

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BATON ROUGE, La. – Junior right-hander Caleb Gilbert fired two perfect innings Thursday night, and senior leftfielder Beau Jordan drove in three runs to lead the Purple to a 5-0 win over the Gold in Game 2 of the LSU Baseball Purple-Gold World Series in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

The Purple evened the series at one game apiece Thursday after the Gold posted a 9-4 win on Tuesday night. The deciding game of the series, which will conclude the Tigers’ six-week fall practice period, will start at 7 p.m. Friday.

The starting pitchers for Game 3 will be Gold freshman right-hander Devin Fontenot and Purple junior right-hander Cameron Sanders.

Gilbert, who worked the first two innings of the five-inning contest, retired all six batters he faced, including three strikeouts. Jordan led the Purple’s eight-hit attack by going 2-for-2 at the plate with a double and three RBI.

“Caleb Gilbert is pitching right now the way he finished the season last year, maybe even better,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “He’s thrown a tight slider the whole fall that our guys are having trouble handling. He’s been throwing 92-94 (mph) all fall with a nice slider. That’s the way he threw over the last month-and-a-half of last season, and he’s continuing his evolution as a pitcher.

“It was nice to see Beau Jordan get a couple of big hits tonight,” Mainieri continued. “He had missed about a week of practice with a strained oblique muscle, but Beau keeps scratching and fighting and works himself back into the lineup. Beau’s just a gamer, and tonight was a classic example of that.”

The Purple grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning against Gold starter Ma’Khail Hilliard, a freshman right-hander. Jordan’s two-out double scored junior centerfielder Antoine Duplantis, who had singled, stole second base and moved to third on an error.

Hilliard pitched a scoreless second inning for the Gold, retiring three hitter in order.

The Purple added three runs in the third when Duplantis drew a bases-loaded walk from freshman left-hander John Kodros, and Jordan delivered a two-run single.

The final run of the game came in the fourth, when freshman catcher Braden Doughty singled with one out, advanced on a single by freshman designated hitter Mason Doolittle and scored on a Gold throwing error.

Junior left-hander Brandon Nowak turned in a solid relief effort for the Purple, recording 2.1 scoreless innings and allowing one hit with two strikeouts.

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