Ole Miss baseball wins first series in Baton Rouge since 1982

Rebel offense erupts to snap 19-Series losing streak at LSU
Published: May. 5, 2019 at 10:21 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WLBT) - The No. 9 LSU Tigers made the Rebels earn it, but after a combined 34 runs scored on 45 hits in a 4-hour, 21-minute, 10-inning marathon, No. 13 Ole Miss left Alex Box Stadium with a 19-15 victory and the program’s first series win in Baton Rouge since 1982.

The Ole Miss offense was fantastic all day and held a 15-9 lead through 26 outs, but LSU put together a stunning two-out rally, including back-to-back-to-back home runs to tie it in the bottom of the ninth. The Rebel offense never relented, though. Ole Miss punched back with four runs in the 10th, highlighted by a go-ahead two-RBI single by freshman Josh Hall to snap a 19-series losing streak on the road at LSU.

Both squads had scoring chances in the first inning but came up short. The Rebels got a two-out double by Tyler Keenan but were unable to bring him home. Meanwhile, Gunnar Hoglund found himself in a two-on, two-out jam but won an eight-pitch battle, getting Gavin Dugas to fly out and escape the inning unscathed.

The Rebel offense came through with a four-spot in the second, starting with a one-out double down the line by Cole Zabowski. Cooper Johnson then sent him home with an RBI single to right. It looked as though LSU might get out of it there, but a potential inning-ending double play ball was booted by the LSU shortstop, placing runners on the corners. Jacob Adams made the most of it, dragging a beautiful bunt single past the pitcher to send Johnson home. Then Grae Kessinger cleared the bases with a double into the left-center gap, extending his reached-base streak to 37 games and making it 4-0, Rebels.

Ole Miss put up another crooked number in the third. Ryan Olenek was hit by a pitch to lead it off, then Cole Zabowskisingled. The two executed a double-steal, setting up for a two-RBI single by Johnson. Adams then delivered again with a single to right. On the hit, the ball skipped under the glove of the LSU right fielder to allow Johnson to come home and make it 7-0, Rebels.

The Tigers got one run back in the fourth on a solo home run by Cade Beloso, but Hoglund used a pop-out and a lineout to escape a two-on, one-out jam and get out of the inning without further damage.

Zabowski matched that solo shot to lead off the fifth, but the Wolfpack wasn’t done there. Johnson followed with a single, and Kevin Graham brought him home with his second home run of the series, making it a 10-1 Rebel advantage.

LSU fought back in the bottom half, stringing together three singles and a double, in addition to a dropped fly ball in right field, to plate three runs and cut the Rebel lead to six, 10-4. Ole Miss then called on Zack Phillips out of the bullpen, and he escaped the inning thanks to a terrific sliding catch out in left field by Thomas Dillard.

The bottom half of the Rebel order stayed hot in the sixth as Zabowski singled and Johnson doubled down the left field line to get one run back for the Rebels. LSU countered in the bottom half when Antoine Duplantis singled to right to send home two runs and make it an 11-6 ballgame.

The Rebels got those runs right back in the seventh, loading the bases on base hits by Adams and Keenan and a hit-by-pitch issued to Anthony Servideo. Dillard drew a walk to bring the first run home, and Olenek drove home the second on a sacrifice fly. T

he wild afternoon continued in the seventh. Taylor Broadway came on in relief and got a quick strikeout to start the seventh, but a single, followed by an error on a potential double-play ball, led to a three-run home run by Saul Garza to cut it to four, 13-9.

In the ninth, Ole Miss appeared to push across the insurance it needed. A Servideo double, followed by singles from Kessinger and Keenan plated one run, and Olenek’s single sent the second across, making it a 15-9 Rebel lead.

Parker Caracci quickly got a pair of outs to start the ninth, but the Tigers wouldn’t go away quietly. LSU strung together three singles, the third of which was a soft infield grounder that bounced just away from the reach of Caracci to bring one home. Then came the pandemonium, as Duplantis, Beloso and Josh Smith went back-to-back-to-back to tie the game and send those left in the stands at The Box into a frenzy.

Austin Miller came on to close out the inning, inducing a flyout to send the game to extras.

In the 10th, Ole Miss quickly went to work. Johnson drew a leadoff walk before Graham came through with a double to left-center. In his first at-bat of the marathon game, Hall laced a line drive into right field to clear the bases. The Rebels added one more on a Kessinger single, then another when Servideo hustled all the way around from second as Keenan grounded into a double play, making it a four-run advantage.

Houston Roth then entered to close it out. He yielded two singles in the inning but struck out LSU leadoff hitter Zach Watson to cap off the victory.

Ole Miss will be off for the midweek as the Rebels prepare for final exams. They’ll return to action next weekend as they host Mississippi State for a three-game set at Swayze Field, starting Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT.

Quick Hits

- Ole Miss improves to 32-17 overall and 15-9 in SEC play.

- Ole Miss secured its first series win in Baton Rouge since 1982, snapping a 19-series losing streak.

- This was LSU’s first series loss at home since Feb. 18, 2018 against Notre Dame. - Ole Miss has scored three or more runs in an inning 48 times this season.

- Grae Kessinger extended his reached-base streak to 37 games. He has hits in 27 of 33 games since the start of SEC play.

- Cole Zabowski turned in his 17th multi-hit game of the season, tying for the second-most on the team.

- Kessinger and Cooper Johnson each recorded their sixth multi-RBI games of the season.

- Jacob Adams had a career-high four hits on the day.

- Kevin Graham hit his seventh home run of the season.

- Eight different Rebels recorded an RBI and seven had at least one hit.

- Five Rebels had multi-hit days, including four with three or more hits.

- Ole Miss had its fourth game this season with 19 or more hits.

- The Rebels improved to 2-2 in extra-inning games this season, including 2-1 in SEC play.

- Ole Miss has scored in double figures 17 times this season and has had double-digit hits 20 times.

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