BATON ROUGE, La. -- An eighth-inning sacrifice fly by junior catcher Ty Ross lifted No. 3 LSU (41-6, 17-5 SEC) to a 3-2 victory over No. 19 Florida (25-21, 12-10 SEC) Thursday night in Alex Box Stadium.
Game 2 of the series between the Tigers and Gators is set for Friday at 6:30 p.m. at “The Box.” The game will air on Cox Sports Television and Comcast Sports Southeastern and it can be heard on LSU Sports Radio Network affiliates.
LSU started the eighth inning with back-to-back singles from shortstop Alex Bregman (2-for-3) and first baseman Mason Katz. Leftfielder Raph Rhymes popped out, and after a wild pitch by Florida reliever Johnny Magliozzi, third baseman Christian Ibarra was walked intentionally to load the bases.
Ross then delivered the game-winning RBI on a flyout to center, scoring Bregman from third and putting the Tigers in front 3-2.
Junior left-hander Chris Cotton retired the side in order in the ninth inning, marking his 10th save of the season.
LSU starting left-hander Cody Glenn was impressive on the hill, surrendering one earned run on five hits and one walk while striking out six Florida hitters, tying a career high for strikeouts. Between the third and seventh innings Glenn retired 12 consecutive Florida batters.
“It was a tremendous ball game, and I thought the story of the game was Cody Glenn,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “He battled from behind in counts and did a magnificent job by working into the seventh inning. Our bullpen was outstanding and delivered great pitches at critical times.
“Ty Ross came through with a great at-bat to give us the lead in the eighth. He was down two strikes early, but he kept his poise and gave us the fly ball we needed to score the go-ahead run.”
The Gators took advantage of an LSU error in the third inning, taking a 1-0 lead.
Katz (2-for-4) quickly evened the score in the bottom of the third with his SEC-leading 62nd RBI on a single to left field.
In the following inning, second baseman JaCoby Jones delivered a towering blast into the left field seats to give LSU a 2-1 advantage. Jones has four home runs on the season.
Florida rallied back in the seventh inning with an RBI double from leftfielder Harrison Bader, tying the game at 2-2.
Senior right-hander Joey Bourgeois (3-1) earned the victory, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out one in the eighth inning.
Florida reliever Ryan Harris (4-3) suffered the loss, giving up one run on two hits while striking out two.