LSU baseball gives up 6 home runs, gets run-ruled by Florida to drop second SEC series of the year

LSU baseball drops its second SEC series of the year. PHOTO BY: Michael Bacigalupi

No. 5 LSU baseball looked like it was going to clinch the series win over No. 8 Florida last night until a late collapse let Florida back in the game.

LSU (19-6, 2-4 SEC) looked like it had the upper hand against Florida (14-9, 4-2 SEC) again today through four innings, but a barrage of Gator homers and a cold streak from the offense gave Florida the series with a 12-2 win in eight innings. LSU has now been run-ruled in game three in two consecutive SEC series to start the year.

“We have jus a couple things that we wanted to get better at,” LSU head coach Jay Johnson said. “Obviously the baseball play, that’s the coaching staff’s job to improve that and responsibility in each area, so we’ll take care of that.”

Both teams went scoreless through the first three innings before LSU opened the scoring in the bottom of the fourth inning. Josh Pearson doubled and an error on a single from Ethan Frey gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead heading into the fifth inning.

LSU’s starter Thatcher Hurd was on the verge of his best performance of the season. He had allowed no runs and just two hits through the first four innings. But then, the wheels fell off for Hurd and LSU.

Hurd gave up a leadoff single before a Colby Shelton two-run blast gave the Gators a 2-1 lead. Hurd gave up a single and a walk before a two-run double from Tyler Shelnut extended the lead to 4-1. Kade Anderson came in to pitch and gave up another two-run homer to bring the score to 6-1.

After keeping the Gators’ offense completely in check through four innings, one disaster of an inning flipped the game on its head. Hurd finished the night allowing six hits, five earned runs and two walks in 4.2 innings pitched.

LSU would respond with a solo homer from Jared Jones in the bottom of the inning to bring the score to 6-2, but it wasn’t nearly enough. Jones and some Florida players exchanged words after the homer and both sides were warned. Hayden Travinski struck out afterwards and more words were exchanged.

 LSU head coach Jay Johnson was ejected from the game after he took exception to the umpires handling of the situation.

“Hayden struck out and then the pitcher immediately said something to Hayden,” Johnson said. “Why are we giving a warning if we’re not going to enforce the rule? I don’t know if the umpire deemed whatever he said as not worthy of being ejected, but to me there’s no point in giving a warning if you’re not going to do something about it when something happens 30 seconds after you issued the warning.”

Florida continued to tee off on the LSU pitchers and had another two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning to bring the score to 8-2. Florida would add three more homers in the top of the eighth inning to bring the score to 12-2 and threaten a second straight game three run-rule loss for the Tigers.

LSU’s offense went three up, three down to end the game in the eighth inning.

Florida finished with six home runs and 13 hits on the day. Shelton led the way with three hits, two homers and four RBI. Jac Caglianone had a home run while also pitching 7.0 innings. He gave up three hits, two runs and five walks on the day.

LSU’s offense managed just three hits on the day. The only earned run for the Tigers came courtesy of Jones’ solo home run.

“You know when you go through tough times the competitive character gets tested,” Johnson said. “We’re going to need to elevate our grade on that test so to speak. I have great faith in the players in terms of the people that they are an believe that they’ll be up for that challenge.”

LSU will try to bounce back on Tuesday against Southeastern Louisiana. That game will start at 6:30 p.m. from Alex Box and can be streamed on SEC Network+.

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