BATON ROUGE, La. – The two teams went toe-to-toe with hits, but it was the long ball that proved to be the difference on Thursday night as No. 14 Ole Miss (35-19, 14-14 SEC) fell to No. 2 LSU (47-7, 22-6 SEC) by a score of 7-1 at Alex Box Stadium.
The Rebels out-hit the Tigers in the game, but the 11 singles couldn’t compensate for the eight extra-base hits – including four home runs – from LSU in the series opener.
Tanner Mathis went 4-for-4 at the plate, while Austin Anderson, Andrew Mistone and Preston Overbey all turned in two hits on the night.
“That was really the story of the game,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We got the hits, but they were all singles and we didn’t capitalize on opportunities we had with a big double or a home run like they did. That had more to do with how good they are, especially when they have some momentum. We needed to come back early with a big extra-base hit when the game was in reach and we had a runner in scoring position, but we didn’t do that tonight.”
Mike Mayers (4-5) took the loss for the Rebels, allowing five runs on seven hits with a walk and seven strikeouts through 6.0 innings of work.
Cody Glenn (6-2) picked up the win for the Tigers allowing one run on eight hits with two strikeouts in 7.0 innings of work.
LSU got on the board in the first with a one-out double from Mark Laird followed by an RBI single up the middle from Alex Bregman pushed Laird across the plate. Mason Katz doubled in the next at bat, but Bregman was thrown out at home to put the second out on the board. Raph Rhymes then doubled to bring Katz home and LSU held the 2-0 lead before Ole Miss got out of the inning.
The Tigers build on the lead in the fourth inning with solo home runs from Katz and Christian Ibarra to take the lead out to 4-0, before Rhymes would hit an inside-the-park home run to right center to take the lead out to 5-0 in the sixth.
Rhymes home run came on a dive for the ball in the outfield that was missed, allowing the ball to roll to the wall in right center. The throw came home, but obstruction was called against catcher Stuart Turner who was set up to receive the ball up the line and had a collision with Rhymes a few feet from the plate.
Ole Miss got on the board in the seventh with an RBI single to center field from Stuart Turner following back-to-back singles from>Tanner Mathis and Austin Anderson. The Rebels couldn’t continue the two-out rally, however, as LSU got out of the inning only surrendering the one run.
Sean McMullen gave the Tigers the fourth home run of the night with a solo shot in the seventh inning. LSU then capped the scoring in the eighth with a sac fly from Tyler Moore that scored Katz for the final margin of victory.
Ole Miss would attempt to mount a final rally in the ninth, loading the bases with two outs, but the Tigers got out of the inning to claim the 7-1 win.
The two teams will take the field for game two of the series at 7 p.m. on Friday night in a game televised by Cox Sports Television.