LSU ran into the buzz saw of Florida last night, and honestly came out rather good looking despite the 4-3 loss. Jake Slaughter had a powerful 2 run homer in the 2nd inning and LSU took advantage of Florida fielding mistakes to score another run in the 3rd for an early 3-0 lead. But Ma’Khail Hilliard started to have trouble when the Gators got their 2nd at bats against him in the 4th. RBIs from Liput, Maldonado, and India tied the game at 3. UF scored another run on an RBI single in the 5th on their 3rd time through the lineup, giving UF their game winning 4-3 lead and causing Hilliard to sit for Cam Sanders. Hilliard gave up 7 hits, 3 walks, and 4 Ks in his 4.1 IP outing.
Sanders was able to keep the Gators of the scoreboard for the remainder of the game, but LSU’s offense just couldn’t get a man home. The Tigers had runners in scoring position in the 6th and 8th innings, but left them stranded both times. A particularly frustrating moment came in the 8th when, with 2 men on and no outs, Nick Coomes had a terrible bunt attempt that popped up for an easy out. Mainieri said after the game that he regretted that decision. LSU stranded 8 runners in total for the game.
"It was a bad move on my part."#LSU head coach Paul Mainieri says he regrets bunting Nick Coomes. @WAFB pic.twitter.com/hMYvZuqECd— Jacques Doucet (@JacquesDoucet) May 24, 2018
It was a tight game against the #1 team in the country, and I thought LSU looked pretty good, regardless of the outcome. The team’s RPI should get a nice boost just for playing UF and that might be all the Tigers really needed to get out of this game. Now it’s down to the loser’s bracket.
LSU’s outside shot of a tournament championship is now practically gone. The Tigers would need to win 4 more games and that wasn’t a realistic outcome even before last night’s news that AJ Labas is hurt again and wont be available. LSU will face South Carolina, who’s also been playing since Tuesday, sometime around 1pm, weather permitting.