LSU Wins Opening SEC Series with 18-6 victory over Ole Miss
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Top-ranked LSU (18-2, 2-1 SEC) rebounded from Saturday's extra-inning loss with an offensive explosion on Sunday, defeating Ole Miss (10-9, 1-2 SEC), 18-6, to win the SEC series at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU has won five straight SEC regular-season series over Ole Miss and 13 of the last 17. The last series victory for Ole Miss over LSU in Baton Rouge came in 1982.
The Tigers will face Southern University at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Lee-Hines Field. The game will be televised by Cox Sports Television, and it may be heard on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network and in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net.
LSU collected 19 hits in the contest and scored its most runs in an SEC game since an 18-6 win over Florida on May 4, 2013.
The barrage was led by shortstop Alex Bregman, who was 3-for-6 with a double, a homer, three runs and two RBI; and by third baseman Conner Hale, who was 3-for-4 with a homer, three runs and two RBI. Designated hitter Kade Scivicque was also 3-for-4 with one run and two RBI.
"I'm really proud of our guys," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "We had a very tough loss last night, but we responded to that setback in a very positive way. Our hitters attacked the ball and had some great at-bats. We were also more selective at the plate without losing our aggressiveness, and that played a large role in our success."
Freshman right-hander Jake Godfrey (4-0) earned the win for LSU, working 5.2 innings and allowing five hits and three runs with four walks and two strikeouts.
Sam Smith (1-3) was charged with the loss for the Rebels as he worked 0.1 inning and gave up five runs on three hits with two walks.
Ole Miss scored the first run of the game in the top of the first after a wild pitch from Godfrey allowed Will Golsan to score from third base.
LSU took the lead for good in the bottom half of the inning, exploding for five runs. After a Mark Laird walk, Bregman doubled down the left field line to bring in Laird, tying the game at 1-1. Hale then hit an RBI single to give LSU a 2-1 lead. A series of wild pitches put runners on second and third, and Scivicque singled to center to score Hale for the Tigers' third run. Chris Chinea hit a two-RBI single up the middle to increase LSU's lead to 5-1.
In the third, Hale hit a leadoff shot to the right field stands for his second home run of the year. Andrew Stevenson advanced to second on a fielding error in the outfield and Scivicque drove him in to give the Tigers a commanding six-run lead.
Bregman added to LSU's lead in the fourth with a solo shot to left - his fifth dinger of the year - giving LSU an 8-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, a Scivicque single advanced Stevenson to third, and three batters later, Jake Fraley hit a two-run single up the middle.
Godfrey found himself in trouble in the sixth as Ole Miss loaded the bases with no outs. Errol Robinson reached first on an RBI fielder's choice for the Rebels' second run of the game. Josh Watkins grounded out to Bregman, allowing Tate Blackman to score, cutting LSU's lead 10-3.
LSU didn't waver as Jared Foster launched a two-run homer to left in the bottom half of the inning, extending LSU's lead 12-3.
The Tigers continued their showcase of offensive firepower in the seventh. Laird doubled down the left field line to score Fraley. A Bregman single moved Laird to third, and Kramer Robertson drove in Laird for the Tigers' 14th run.
Pinch hitter Grayson Byrd added to the lead with an RBI double and Stevenson singled to center to score Robertson. Ole Miss reliever John Wesley Ray walked Danny Zardon with the bases loaded to bring in Byrd, and Michael Papierski hit a sacrifice fly to right, tallying LSU's sixth run of the inning.