The LSU baseball team couldn’t pull out a victory in a battle between two of the SEC’s premier pitchers.
LSU ace Alex Lange pitched one of his best games of 2017 Friday, allowing one run and striking out seven in eight innings of work. But Florida’s Alex Faedo won the battle of the Alexes, shutting out LSU for seven innings en route to a 1-0 Florida victory.
The loss dropped LSU to 3-1 in SEC play and improved the Gators to 1-3.
Faedo, projected as a potential top 5 pick in this summer’s MLB Draft, kept the LSU lineup in fits all night. The Tigers struck out as many times as they got hits off Faedo, walking zero times and stranding six runners on base. LSU didn’t put consecutive batters on the basepaths until the seventh inning when freshmen Zach Watson and Jake Slaughter both singled with one out, but Faedo notched back-to-back outs to end the LSU threat.
The Tigers stranded third baseman Josh Smith on second base to end the game. It was the first time LSU was shut out this season.
For as well as Faedo worked out of danger in that situation, Lange walked the tightrope even more impressively in the fifth inning. Between two singles and an error, Lange loaded the bases with no outs to open up the fifth. But the junior flexed his stuff to the next three hitters, striking out two of them and forcing a hard liner to second baseman Cole Freeman to strand all three Gators.
Lange also stranded two runners in the eighth inning to preserve the one-run deficit heading into the ninth. After a two-out single from Liput and Lange’s first walk of the game, Lange benefitted from some massive help from right fielder Greg Deichmann in the outfield, making a diving catch to end the eighth.
— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) March 25, 2017
Florida scored its one run in the sixth inning. Second baseman Deacon Liput led off the frame with a double, before two sacrifice hits moved him to third then home. After that Liput double, Lange retired the next six batters he faced, including the two sacrifices.
As has been the case in most of LSU’s losses this season, the Tigers’ offense struggled with runners on base. Before the seventh inning LSU wasn’t able to get a hit with a runner on base, and the Tigers went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position for the game. That included a groundout from Deichmann with shortstop Kramer Robertson waiting on third base.
What’s next for LSU baseball?
The Tigers return to action against the Gators tomorrow at 2 p.m. CT. Senior Jared Poché puts his 0.25 ERA on the line against the toughest foe he’s faced since he shut out Baylor in Houston. The game will be televised on ESPN2 and be available for stream through WatchESPN.