LSU rebounds with 3-2 victory against Florida

Ty Ross

Cody Glenn was dominant in his return to the rotation, and Ty Ross' go-ahead sac fly in the eighth inning helped LSU rebound in a series-opening win against Florida.

Ty Ross' sacrifice fly in the eighth inning provided the game-winning run in No. 3 LSU's 3-2 victory against No. 21 Florida on Thursday in Alex Box Stadium.

After Florida tied it in the seventh, Alex Bregman and Mason Katz opened the bottom of the eighth with consecutive singles before the Gators intentionally walked Christian Ibarra to load the bases. Ross fell behind in the count, but lifted a liner to centerfield that was just deep enough to get the run home from third.

"Our kids really battled tonight," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "They competed really hard. We had some really quality at-bats….At the very end, Ty Ross down 0-2 comes up with the sacrifice fly. We had just enough great at-bats. You don't expect to go against Florida and throw up 10 runs on 20 hits."

The win provided LSU with a nice rebound after the Tigers dropped their first series of the season last weekend to South Carolina. With a solid performance from Cody Glenn — and with Aaron Nola and Ryan Eades still to pitch for LSU — the weekend is off to a bright start for LSU.

"This is how we envisioned it," Katz said. "We envisioned coming out and winning tonight with Cody. We had no doubts that Cody would go out there and do what he did. He pitched a gem."

Ross' RBI provided LSU with the win, but Glenn quieted the Florida bats through 6 2/3 innings of quality work. Glenn last appeared on April 21 against Alabama, and returned to the rotation Friday, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with a season-high six strikeouts.

"For the first time all season, I had a big night with my curveball," Glenn said. "It was really working for me. It's usually just a get-me-over pitch and not a strikeout pitch. That and my two-seam helped me get a lot of outs tonight. My changeup has been consistent this year and it was there again."

Glenn did allow an unearned run early as Florida took a 1-0 lead in the third. SS Cody Dent and CF Richie Martin reached on consecutive one-out bunts before 2B Casey Turgeon walked to load the bases.

Glenn battled with three-hole hitter Taylor Gushue, and got him to ground one back to the mound. Glenn made the out at home, but Katz wasn't able to reel in the throw from Ross, allowing the go-ahead run to score from second.

"I couldn't see [Ross], and he said he couldn't see me at all," Katz said. "When he threw it, I didn't see the ball until it came over the runner's shoulder. It was last second and I just didn't catch it."

But Glenn dialed back in and retired the next 12 batters while LSU was able to retake the lead.

The Tigers tied it in the bottom of the third on a RBI-single by Katz with two outs. Then LSU went ahead with a solo home run to left field by JaCoby Jones.

The Tiger offense had a promising night after struggling on Saturday and Sunday against the Gamecocks. The hits came at the expense of Florida starter Johnathon Crawford — a possible first-round draft pick — who surrendered two runs on six hits with three walks.

"That's the way he is," Katz said. "He's not pinpoint. But he throws hard, and he's effectively wild."

Florida was able to tie it in the seventh before Glenn was removed from the game. Glenn got two quick outs to open the inning then surrendered a single by 3B Josh Tobias. The run was able to score thanks to a well-timed hit-and-run and a double to left-center by LF Harrison Bader.

"Glenn did a masterful job tonight," Mainieri said. "He was the key to the game. He gave us a chance to win. I was so proud of him. It was a shame that second run scored…because Cody deserved to get a win on his stats tonight."

After Glenn, three relievers were able to close out the game for LSU, allowing only a pair of base runners in 2 1/3 innings. That kept LSU in the game before Ross' game-winning RBI.

"I don't even remember last weekend," Mainieri said. "The only thing I think about is today's game and tomorrow's game. We played like we can play…I was just proud of my guys. They played their heart out tonight. They played confident. They played loose."

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