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LSU outlasts Florida to earn 14-inning comeback win

2376 days ago
SEC Staff
Photo: Michael Wade

HOOVER, Ala. -- No. 5 seed LSU earned its second straight comeback win by outlasting No. 4 seed Florida for 14 innings, securing a 5-3 victory in the double elimination round of the SEC Baseball Tournament. The extra-inning showdown lasted 5 hours, 7 minutes to finish as the longest game (by elapsed time) in SEC Tournament history. It was only the fourth time an SEC Tournament game has reached 14 innings.

With two outs in the 14th inning, LSU pinch hitter Jordan Romero knocked a single through the right side to score Chris Reid from second for the go-ahead run. LSU extended its lead to 5-3 on an RBI single by Cole Freeman and the Gators were unable to answer in the bottom of the inning.

Before the extra-inning heroics, the starting pitchers, Florida's left-hander A.J. Puk and LSU's right-hander Alex Lange, dueled for seven innings. LSU's Lange allowed five of the first six Florida batters to reach base, but then settled in as only three more reached base while he was in the game. He recorded 11 strikeouts, giving up two runs on five hits. Florida's Puk struck out seven, giving up two runs on six hits.

Florida took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, with JJ Schwarz hitting an RBI double and Buddy Reed delivering an RBI triple.

Both teams were scoreless over the next six innings as Puk and Lange battled on the mound.

LSU broke up Puk's shutout in the eighth inning when Antoine Duplantis scored on a throwing error. Florida's Shaun Anderson entered from the bullpen with one runner on base. Jake Fraley then crossed the plate as the tying run on an RBI fielder's choice by Kramer Robertson. The Tigers took their first lead of the game on an RBI single by Bryce Jordan.

The tournament's defending champions followed with a late rally of their own. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Florida tied the game on a Deacon Liput RBI single. The Gators were unable to win the game in the frame as LSU catcher Michael Papierski threw out Liput at second to send the game to extra innings.

The Gators had the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the 11th, but were unable to capitalize and deliver a game winner. Liput lined into a double play at third base as the Tigers ended the threat and forced another inning.

The Tigers face No. 1 seed Mississippi State in the fourth game on Thursday. The Gators play in an elimination game against No. 9 seed Alabama in the second game of Thursday's morning session.

Session 4 of the tournament had 13,448 fans in attendance, the largest session since 2004 and fourth largest all-time.