GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Freshman left-hander Kirby Snead pitched 4.2 innings of scoreless relief Sunday, and third baseman John Sternagel drove in three runs to lead Florida to an 11-7 victory over LSU and a sweep of the Southeastern Conference series at McKethan Stadium.
The Tigers are 20-8-1 overall and 3-5-1 in the SEC. Florida improved to 19-9 overall and 6-3 in conference play.
LSU plays host to McNeese State at 6:30 p.m. CT Wednesday in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Snead (1-0) earned the win, limiting the Tigers to no runs on two hits in 4.2 innings with one walk and no strikeouts.
LSU starter Zac Person (1-1) was charged with the loss as he allowed five runs on four hits in 2.2 innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
“It was a very tough weekend, but we know we’re capable of getting right back into the league race,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “This is a tough place to win, and though we weren’t able to get a win this weekend, I’m confident we’ll be better, and our players are confident in their abilities. We’re looking forward to being at home over the next two weekends in front of our own fans, and we’re going to compete at a very high level.”
Florida tied the game in the bottom of the first when centerfielder Harrison Bader launched a solo homer, his first dinger of the season.
LSU responded with two runs in the second as leftfielder Jake Fraley delivered a two-run double to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead.
Florida narrowed the gap to 3-2 in the bottom of the second when Sternagel lifted a sacrifice fly, but the Tigers added a run in the third on designated hitter Sean McMullen’s solo home run, his second dinger of the season.
The Gators scored four runs in the third to take a 6-4 lead, benefitting from four walks in the inning. Catcher Taylor Gushue lined an RBI single and first baseman Peter Alonso contributed a two-run single to highlight the rally. Sternagel also drew a bases-loaded walk during the rally, as the Gators sent nine batters to the plate.
The Gators took advantage of three more walks in the fifth to increase the lead to 10-4. Pinch hitter Mike Fahrman lined a two-run single and shortstop Richie Martin belted a two-run double to Florida a six-run margin.
Sternagel added an RBI single in the eighth to give the Gators an 11-4 advantage.