It took two and a half games, but the LSU baseball team’s offense finally woke up versus Florida.
After the No. 4 Tigers scored just one run in two losses to open the weekend series versus the No. 12 Gators, LSU’s offense exploded in the later innings of Sunday’s game, pulling out an 10-6 win and avoiding the sweep.
Senior second baseman Cole Freeman provided the theatrics, capping off a six-run eighth inning with a two-run home run to give LSU its first lead of the weekend. But Freeman’s crack was only the third in a string of electric at-bats in the frame.
Meanwhile in Gainesville…
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) March 26, 2017
LSU came to the plate in the eighth trailing 6-2. Right fielder Greg Deichmann opened up the inning with a single, which was followed one out later by a two-run home run from freshman Josh Smith, his second home run of the season. Freshman first baseman Jake Slaughter followed Smith’s homer with his 11th hit-by-pitch of 2017, which came back to bite the Gators when designated hitter Beau Jordan yanked a two-run home run of his own to tie the game at 6-6.
Jordan had a four RBI day Sunday, driving in two runs in the sixth off a bases-loaded single. Prior to Sunday, Jordan had not hit a home run and had just eight RBI on the whole season.
— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) March 26, 2017
LSU added two more runs in the ninth inning off a single from centerfielder Zach Watson and a sacrifice fly from Smith.
Freshman starting pitcher Eric Walker opened up the game well, keeping Florida out of the run column for the first two innings. But for the first time in his career, Walker’s outing began to unravel out of a lack of command. Coming into Sunday, Walker walked five batters all season. But the freshman walked four batters Sunday alone, as well as five hits and a home run, the fifth he’s given up this season.
Off the five runs Walker allowed, plus a run relief pitcher Nick Bush surrendered in the seventh inning, LSU fell behind early. Before Jordan’s single in the sixth, the Tigers did not have a hit with runners in scoring position all weekend, and that trend was still particularly evident Sunday. Despite the win, the Tigers hit .250 (2-for-8) with runners in scoring position Sunday afternoon.
What’s next for LSU baseball?
The Tigers return home this week to host Tulane Tuesday night at Alex Box Stadium. The game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT and will be available for stream on WatchESPN and the SEC Network Plus.