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|Florida takes series with 7-1 pasting of LSU|
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Junior right-hander Patrick Keating fired the first complete game of his career Saturday to lead No. 18 Florida to a 7-1 victory over LSU in McKethan Stadium.
The Gators improved to 20-5 overall, 7-1 in the Southeastern Conference. LSU fell to 15-10 overall and 2-6 in league play.
The teams meet in the series finale at 1 p.m. ET Sunday. The contest can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network and in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.
Sunday's game will be televised by FSN Florida, and it can be seen in Baton Rouge on Cox Cable Ch. 255.
Keating (4-0) limited the Tigers to one run on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts, as he recorded the first complete game by a Florida pitcher this season.
The Gators struck for three runs on five hits in the first inning against LSU starter Ryan Verdugo (4-2). Rightfielder Jonthan Pigott and first baseman Brandon McArthur provided run-scoring doubles and designated hitter Dustin Bamberg delivered an RBI single to highlight the rally.
Florida extended its lead to 5-0 in the third when third baseman Jon Townsend contributed a two-RBI single.
Verdugo was lifted later in the third for right-hander Jordan Brown, who fanned two Florida batters with the bases loaded to end the inning.
LSU scored in the fifth when catcher Sean Ochinko singled, moved to second on a groundout by rightfielder Nicholas Pontiff and scored on shortstop DJ LeMahieu's single.
Florida centerfielder Matt den Dekker's two-run homer – his second of the series – in the seventh inning gave the Gators a 7-1 advantage.
Brown gave LSU a strong relief effort, allowing two runs on three hits in four innings with three walks and six strikeouts.
"Florida has a very scrappy lineup, and they were able to bunch some hits together and take an early lead," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "I thought Jordan Brown did a very nice job of keeping us in the game, but we couldn't sustain a threat today against their pitcher. We're not where we want to be right now, but I have a lot of confidence in our players. They are a bunch of hard-working kids, and I firmly believe we'll continue to grow as a team and as a program. Our focus now is to do everything we can to win Sunday's game."
Verdugo was charged with the loss as he surrendered five runs on 10 hits in 2.1 innings with no walks and two strikeouts.
(Report courtesy of lsusports.net.)