By JAMES MORAN
Tiger Rag Associate Editor
Hometown product Caleb Gilbert threw a whale of a ballgame in Hoover, but it wouldn’t be enough to get LSU into the SEC Tournament finals.
The freshman allowed just one run in 5.2 innings of work, but the LSU bats finally ran out of rallies against Florida, falling 1-0 in the SEC Tournament semifinals.
The Tigers must now sit and wait until Monday to find out if its strong showing in Hoover was enough to secure a top-eight national seed. Projections indicate Paul Mainieri and Co. have at least done enough to secure hosting an NCAA Regional next weekend.
Gilbert came out of the gate dealing, but Florida left-hander Scott Moss, who entered Saturday having never pitched longer than three innings in a given outing, matched him zero-for-zero. Gilbert had never gone beyond the fifth in his own right entering Saturday.
The game’s lone run came in the bottom of the sixth, with the game-winning run reaching on an infield single Chris Reid couldn’t make a play on at third. Then, with two outs, Jonathan India scalded a run-scoring double off Gilbert to plate Dalton Guthrie.
LSU had chances to tie the game in both the seventh and ninth innings, but the team that’s fueled a 15-1 run by coming up with big hit after big hit couldn’t come through with the tying run in scoring position.
Reid doubled with one out in the seventh, but Beau Jordan grounded to short and Greg Deichmann flied to center to end the threat.
Kramer Robertson led off the ninth with a single off Gator closer Shaun Anderson and moved to second on a wild pitch. However, Anderson rebounded to strike out Bryce Jordan, retire pinch hitter Brody Wofford on a weakly-hit ground ball to first and get Beau Jordan to fly to right to end it.