BATON ROUGE, La. -- A four-run fifth inning and an eight-run sixth inning lifted No. 3 LSU (43-6, 19-5 SEC) to an 18-6 series-sweeping victory over No. 19 Florida (25-23, 12-12 SEC) Saturday at Alex Box Stadium.
Four of the sixth-inning runs came off of the bat of second baseman JaCoby Jones, who delivered a grand slam off of the scoreboard in left field. Jones has dingers on the year, a career-high for home runs in a season. He also finished with a career-high six RBIs in today’s game.
Jones’ grand slam was the first by an LSU hitter since Mason Katz launched one versus Georgia on April 28, 2012 in Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers’ 18 runs Saturday marked the most runs scored in a game by LSU this season and the 12-run difference was the margin of victory for the Tigers in a game against Florida. Saturday’s win also capped the first sweep for LSU against Florida since 2001 in Alex Box Stadium.
“I could sense when we got to the ball park today that our players were ready for this type of game,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “They seemed to have a fire in their eyes, and that was reflected in the final score this afternoon.”
LSU fell behind early Saturday after an RBI triple from Florida catcher Taylor Gushue and a sacrifice fly from outfielder Jordan Shafer gave the Gators a 2-0 lead.
The Tigers rallied back in the second inning, taking the lead on a two-RBI double from Jones and an RBI groundout from catcher Ty Ross.
Designated hitter Sean McMullen led off the fifth inning with a double. McMullen later came home on an RBI double from shortstop Alex Bregman (3-for-5).
Third baseman Christian Ibarra (3-for-3) broke the game open later in the inning with a bases-loaded double, giving the Tigers a 7-2 lead.
Bregman added another double in the sixth frame, increasing the LSU lead to 9-2. After three straight singles from outfielder Raph Rhymes (2-for-3), Ibarra and Ross, Jones connected for the grand slam, putting the Tigers ahead 14-2.
Three more runs came in the seventh inning on a bases-loaded double from catcher Chris Chinea.
LSU junior right-hander Ryan Eades (8-1) earned the victory, allowing two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out six in six innings of work.
“Ryan got off to tough start by giving up two runs in the first,” Mainieri said, “but he came back and threw five scoreless innings. He had to work his way out of a couple of jams, but he competed the way he always does and gave us another strong outing.”
Florida starter Danny Young (3-4) suffered the loss, surrendering three runs on four hits in two innings.