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Monday, May 20, 2024

Florida tramples Louisiana State to earn first SEC road series win

The Gators run-ruled the Tigers

Gators baseball left-handed pitcher Jac Caglianone pitches the ball in the team's 12-5 win over Columbia University on Sunday, February 25, 2024.
Gators baseball left-handed pitcher Jac Caglianone pitches the ball in the team's 12-5 win over Columbia University on Sunday, February 25, 2024.

Florida All-SEC closer Brandon Neely came into the eighth inning to earn the final three outs and close the curtains on the Gators’ weekend series against the Louisiana State Tigers.

In nine pitches, Neely retired the side.

It defined a dominant performance from Florida Sunday. The Gators produced 12 runs and surrendered just two runs behind a phenomenal outing from left-hander Jac Caglianone.

The No. 6 Florida Gators (14-9, 4-2 SEC) crushed the No. 5 Louisiana State Tigers (19-6, 2-4 SEC) 12-2 Sunday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Gators earned their third run-rule victory of the season.

Caglianone continued his dominant campaign on the mound and lasted seven innings against the Tigers’ lineup.

He allowed just one earned run in the fifth inning off a solo home run from LSU sophomore first baseman Jared Jones, who hit his second home run of the series and 10th of the season.

In addition to Caglianone’s stellar numbers on the mound this year, he has shown immense maturity on the mound. The lefty appeared to have moments of struggle in his two most recent starts. However, his maturity has shown, and he’s overcome several jams throughout his outings.

Caglianone tossed two consecutive walks on full counts in the first inning. After a quick visit with head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, the southpaw recorded the final out of the inning and cruised until a couple of rocky moments in the middle innings.

In the second, the Tigers had a runner at third, and Caglianone had just one out in the inning. The junior struck out the next batter and produced a fly-out to end the inning and leave a runner in scoring position.

Two innings later, LSU scored the first run of the game off a fielding error by Gators left fielder Tyler Shelnut. A rolling single ricocheted off the glove of Shelnut and allowed junior infielder Josh Pearson to advance home.

Despite the frustrating error, Caglianone remained poised. With two runners on and one out, he struck out the next two batters and stayed on the mound for seven innings.

In seven innings pitched, Caglianone surrendered one earned run, three hits and produced five punch outs.  

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While the left-hander diced the Tigers’ lineup, Florida’s offense exploded and produced six home runs.

Senior right fielder Ty Evans recorded a three-hit game and produced a two-run home run in the eighth inning. He has had 10 multi-hit games this season and has hit in the No. 2 spot in Florida’s order the last two games.

Sophomore shortstop Colby Shelton hit two two-run home runs, as well. Shelnut and Caglianone were the other Gators players to record home runs in Florida’s 12-2 drubbing against the LSU Tigers.

Florida will play the No. 12 Florida State Seminoles at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Jacksonville. The Seminoles were swept by the No. 4 Clemson Tigers over the weekend. Tuesday’s contest will be aired on SEC Network+. 

Contact Luke Adragna at Follow him on Twitter @lukeadrag.

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Luke Adragna

Luke Adragna is a third-year journalism student and the Florida Gators football reporter at The Alligator. He is a cat ethusiast and completes the NYT Daily Mini in less than a minute each day.

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