Tigers sweep Georgia, back in SEC title chase

Discussion in 'The Tiger's Den' started by StLee, Apr 14, 2002.

  1. StLee

    StLee Founding Member

    Apr 12, 2002
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    Story link

    Gill's Slam Leads Tigers to Sweep of Georgia, 13-4

    BATON ROUGE -- LSU's Blake Gill became the third Fighting Tiger to hit a pinch-hit grand slam this season, as his homer in the fifth inning broke open a close game and propelled LSU to a 13-4 victory over Georgia, completing a three-game sweep for the Tigers on Sunday at Alex Box Stadium.

    LSU (24-13, 8-6) is on a season high five-game winning streak, its longest since an eight-game streak last April. The Tigers have won five of their last six in SEC play to move into third place in the Western Division and fourth overall in the SEC.

    The Tigers play their final non-conference home game of 2002 Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. when they host cross-town rival Southern, the leaders of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. LSU is back in SEC action next weekend at the new East Division leader, South Carolina. Georgia (18-14, 8-7) had a one and a half game lead entering the weekend, but the Gamecocks swept Vanderbilt to overcome that deficit.

    Gill, a freshman from Bradenton, Fla., pinch hit for Jason Columbus to face Georgia relief ace Jeffrey Carswell, who had not allowed an earned run in 22 2/3 innings during the season. But Gill lined a 2-0 pitch over the right field wall to put LSU ahead 9-3. Gill's hit had been set up earlier on a Wally Pontiff double and walks to Sean Barker and Dustin Hahn.

    LSU, which scored in seven of the eight innings in which it batted on Saturday in a 14-4 triumph, got started quickly by putting four runs up in the first inning.

    Rocky Scelfo and Aaron Hill got it started with back-to-back singles, and after a passed ball by Clint Sammons moved the runners up, Wally Pontiff drew a walk to load the bases.

    Georgia starter Jason Fellows would continue to have trouble finding the strike zone, issuing bases loaded walks to Barker and Eric Wiethorn to make it 2-0. Fellows (1-1) was replaced after walking Wiethorn, failing to retire any of the five batters he faced.

    Reliever Matt Woods finally got an out by getting Matt Heath to take a called third strike, but Columbus then grounded a ball through the left side of the Georgia infield to make it 4-0. Woods escaped further damage when Chris Phillips grounded into a double play.

    Gerogia cut the lead in half in the second inning. A single by Jon Armitage put runners on first and second, and after a fielder's choice ground ball by Sammons moved Adam Swann to third, Bo Pettit uncorked a wild pitch to score Swann, then Marshall Szabo singled home Sammons. Szabo, however, was picked off of first by Chris Phillips to end theinning.

    LSU would get a run back in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by Barker, but Georgia would hang tough, as back-to-back infield hits by Darryl Blaze and Chaz Lytle set up an RBI base hit by Lee Mitchell.

    However, Mitchell got caught in a rundown to take the starch out of the rally, then Swann struck out to end the frame.

    Pettit, who retired the first 12 batters he faced on Wednesday against Tulane, settled down and went on to give up only one unearned run over the final five innings. Pettit struck out seven and walked one over eight innings to improve to 5-5 and get his second win of the week.

    LSU put icing on the cake with four runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by Pontiff's solo home run and a two-run single by Gill.
  2. lsucurlyq

    lsucurlyq Founding Member

    Mar 11, 2002
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    geaux tigers (quotes from the players)

    "There was no doubt this weekend who the better team was," said LSU third baseman Wally Pontiff, who hit a solo home run. "We didn't win by chance. We didn't win by them making errors. We just flat-out hit the ball, pitched and played good defense.

    "I think that ought to be a statement to the rest of the SEC that we're kind of climbing back out of the cellar and we're finally hitting our streak the way coach (Smoke) Laval and the rest of us said we would. We're peaking at the right time, I think."

    "Hitting is contagious," said Scelfo, one of three LSU freshmen who hit his first college home run during the weekend series. "When one guy hits, the rest of the team will hit. Hitting at crucial times is a big part of it, and we've been doing that. Gill came up with a big home run today."

    "We really proved to ourselves that we could play three competitive, focused games in a row," Laval said. "It's exciting. I'm excited for the kids here, seeing smiles on their faces after a weekend series. That's pretty neat."

    "It's a totally different world," he said. "I think we had a lot of scared players out there early in the year. We'd make an error, and people were worrying if they'd get taken out of the game or if the pitcher was going to be able to get out of the situation."

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