GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A few weeks ago, LSU shortstop Kramer Robertson was shifted into the leadoff spot in LSU’s order to try to get him going.
LSU coach Paul Mainieri used the same idea Sunday when he bumped him down to the No. 2 spot, replacing him with previous No. 2 hitter Cole Freeman.
“I just thought Kramer was scuffling a little bit this weekend,” Mainieri said. “He just got impatient again. They were tough pitchers those first two days. We seemed to be 0-2 the whole weekend at the plate.
“I think Kramer was a little bit tied up, and I thought Cole maybe could just give us a little more spark at the top of the order today. I thought shaking it up a little bit might relax Kramer a little bit.”
Robertson went hitless in six at-bats Sunday, but he had at least two hits taken away by some excellent efforts from Gators defenders. He finished the weekend 1-13 at the plate.
Freeman went 1-4 with a walk and a go-ahead two-run home run Sunday. He currently leads the team in hitting (.378) and on base percentage (.491)
Room to roam
Greg Deichmann turned in his best defensive weekend since he was moved to the outfield this past fall.
He saved at least two runs by making a diving catch down the right field line in the eighth inning of LSU’s 1-0 loss Friday, and added another diving catch Sunday when center fielder Zach Watson lost a ball off the bat and Deichmann had to range over from right field to make the catch.
He also made several difficult plays look routine by chasing down a handful of fly balls in the gap.
“I thought Greg Deichmann showed the athlete that he is in the outfield this weekend,” Mainieri said.
Mainieri said he knew going into Sunday’s game he was going to bring closer Caleb Gilbert in for the eighth inning since Gilbert had not been used yet in the series.
Armed with that knowledge, Mainieri was hopeful freshman starter Eric Walker could give him five or six innings Sunday, shortening the bridge between starter and closer.
Walker made it 4.2 innings before he got the hook in favor of fellow freshman Matthew Beck. He allowed a two-run bases-loaded single to his final batter, cleanup hitter Jonathan India.
The Gators had the bases loaded with one out after Mainieri elected to intentionally walk red-hot Deacon Liput with runners at second and third.
“It looked like he was going to get us out of (the jam),” Mainieri said. “He had a big strike out of (Dalton) Guthrie with the bases loaded after the intentional walk.”
But Walker walked JJ Schwarz on four pitches to bring home a run, then gave up the hit to India on a 3-2 pitch.
Walker finished the day allowing five earned runs — three in his last inning — on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts.