Coleman, No. 3 Tigers Shutout Gators, 4-0
BATON ROUGE -- LSU senior right-hander Louis Coleman hurled eight scoreless innings and the third-ranked Tigers collected 11 hits to shutout No. 11 Florida 4-0 in front of a school-record crowd of 9,131 Saturday night in Alex Box Stadium.
With the victory, the Tigers (38-13, 18-8) won their third consecutive SEC series and their eighth conference series of the season. LSU has won 12 of its last 13 league series, dating back to last season.
The Gators dropped to 34-17 overall and 16-10 in conference play with Saturday’s loss.
Game 3 of the series begins at Noon on Sunday in Alex Box Stadium. The game will be carried by Cox Sports Television (cable channel 37 in Baton Rouge). It will also be on the LSU Sports Radio network (WDGL, Eagle 98.1 in Baton Rouge). Live video, audio and stats will also be available in the Geaux Zone at www.lsusports.net.
LSU’s senior class will be honored prior to Sunday’s game with a ceremony scheduled to begin at 11:40 a.m.
Coleman (10-2), the reigning SEC pitcher of the week, notched his second consecutive dominant performance, allowing only four hits while walking one and striking out seven. Coleman has not allowed a run in his last 17 innings, dating back to April 25 against Auburn.
“Coleman always has so much poise and composure and competitive zeal,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said. “He never makes excuses when a play isn’t made behind him; he just goes out and gets the next guy. That’s what makes him a winner.”
It didn’t take long for the Tigers to pick up where they left off Friday night offensively, as Schimpf got LSU out to a 1-0 lead with a solo homer in the bottom of the first. It was Schimpf’s 15th homer of the year.
Blake Dean followed Schimpf with a double to left center and later scored on a wild pitch thrown by Florida starter Anthony DeSclafani to make the score 2-0.
The Tigers threatened again in the second when Micah Gibbs doubled off the wall to lead off the inning and Austin Nola reached on a fielding error. The next batter, Mikie Mahtook, lined out to shortstop Mike Mooney with Gibbs and Nola moving on a hit and run. Mooney threw back to second to out Gibbs and second baseman Josh Adams threw back to first to out Nola as part of a 6-4-3 triple play.
LSU struck again in the third when Schimpf and Dean laced back-to-back singles. Schimpf scored on an infield groundout by Tyler Hanover to put the Tigers up 3-0.
Florida’s pitching held LSU scoreless through the next four innings, including three shutout innings by reliever Tony Davis.
In the bottom of the eighth, DJ LeMahieu doubled to right to lead off the inning. LeMahieu advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when catcher Buddy Munroe overthrew third base to make the score 4-0.
“Everyone who loves LSU had to be thrilled with everything associated with the game tonight,” Mainieri said. “It was like a super regional atmosphere with a record crowd in a magnificent stadium. I’m very proud of the way our kids performed in such a great environment.”