By Jeff Palermo
A three-run 4th inning by Florida proved to be to much for LSU as the Gators held on for a 4-3 victory to take Game 1 of the best three series. Florida is now one win away from its first national championship.
All three runs in the 4th inning were charged against LSU starting pitcher Russell Reynolds. The fifth-year senior from Baton Rouge faced the minimum through 3 innings. But Reynolds walked three straight batters in the 4th inning and was lifted for relief pitcher Matt Bush.
Bush gave up a sacrifice fly for a run and two-run double, which gave Florida a comfortable 3-0 lead.
LSU finally got to Florida starting pitcher Brady Singer with two-runs in the 6th inning. Antoine Duplantis hit a solo home run to get the Tigers on the board. Beau Jordan also added an RBI double.
Florida added an insurance run in the 7th inning off of Bush.
The Tigers got back within a run in the 8th inning. Josh Smith singled home Greg Deichmann, but Smith was called out trying to stretch a single to a double. But instant replay showed Smith avoided the tag before his hand reached the bag, unfortunately for the Tigers the play could not be reviewed.
LSU went quietly in the 9th inning as Michael Byrne recorded his 19th save of the season and third of the College World Series.
Jared Poche will start for LSU in Game 2. The Tigers all-time winningest pitcher will look for career victory number 40. Florida is expected to send Tyler Dyson to the hill. He's 3-0 with a 3.55 ERA.