Hoover native Gilbert starts for LSU's semifinal game against Florida

Hoover native Gilbert starts for LSU's semifinal game against Florida
Caleb Gilbert warming up (Source: WAFB)
Caleb Gilbert warming up (Source: WAFB)

HOOVER, AL (WAFB) - The Tigers got a day off after three-late night wins in a row, but LSU heads back to the field and will face off against Florida once again in the SEC Tournament.

The Gators earned the rematch Friday with a 12-2 run-rule win over Mississippi State, who LSU defeated 6-2 on Thursday night.

Florida will start Scott Moss (2-0), while LSU will go with freshman pitcher Caleb Gilbert.

The Hoover native will be getting the start in the fifth game between the two teams, but those surrounding the program believe the right-hander is ready for the opportunity.

"He's really calm in big situations. You know, his nickname is the sheriff so he'll be fine on his own," said LSU sophomore catcher Michael Papierski.

"It's all new to me, but I've been preparing for this all week," Gilbert said. "It's just awesome to be back here in my hometown in front of all my friends and family and just really excited about it. It's almost a surreal feeling. Being apart of this team in general is a surreal feeling.

"Kind of working my way this season. I've had ups and downs, but you just got to learn from every mistake you make and take the good and just go with it, but ultimately just real excited to be out there to try and help my team get a win. It's going to be against a quality opponent, but ultimately I'm just worried about the things I can control."

Should the tigers come away with a win, they'll have notched a 4-1 record against Florida, the No. 1 team in the country. They will also be in a position to capture Paul Mainieri's sixth SEC tournament title while at LSU.

If LSU wins, the Tigers will face the winner of the game between Texas A&M and Ole Miss in the SEC Championship game Sunday. That game will start at noon on Saturday with LSU's game to start 30 minutes after it ends, possibly around 3:30 p.m. All of the games will air on the SEC Network.

Copyright 2016 WAFB. All rights reserved.