By John Davis
Special to the Journal
OXFORD – There was no need for extra innings for No.13 Ole Miss on Friday night, not with Christian Trent on the mound and the Rebels’ best hitters doing their part.
A night after losing a 13-inning heartbreaker to the No. 12 Tigers at Oxford-University Stadium, Ole Miss tied the three-game series with a 5-1 win.
The deciding game is today at 1 p.m. and can be seen on Fox Sports South.
Ole Miss (30-10 overall, 10-7 SEC) broke a 1-1 tie in the third and then tacked on two more runs in the fourth with a two-run single from Auston Bousfield, who delivered with two outs and two strikes against him. The Ole Miss junior centerfielder, who came into the game hitting .333, then hit a solo home run in the seventh for his fourth hit overall. The Rebels finished with 10 hits as a team, with the top three hitters garnering seven of them.
“Boz had a tremendous night with the four hits, none bigger than with the bases loaded, the two-strike hit where it looked like we were going to squander an opportunity there for a second,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “We got too aggressive there with a couple of push bunts and safety squeezes. Those didn’t work out, we didn’t execute, and he gets the big two-out hit.
“That’s what it’s all about. We didn’t have many hits tonight, but I thought we were very efficient with them and then of course his home run, just to extend it a little more, was big.”
Trent was just as big as the Rebels’ timely hitting, as he went seven innings, finishing with five strikeouts against two walks. He faced one Tiger to start eighth before giving way to Scott Weathersby, who pitched the final two innings.
Trent, a sophomore from Madisonville, La., made big pitches all night, limiting his former team to one unearned run in the third. It was the fifth win of the season for Trent, who hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last two home starts. Against Mississippi State last week, Trent gave up just two runs in 62⁄3 innings of work.
“He was terrific, just really proud of him and really because he pitched similar to the way he has the past nine weeks,” Bianco said. “He was very efficient, attacks the strike zone. You got to hit him to put him in trouble because he doesn’t walk you. Tonight the changeup was different than last week. Against State, it was really the slider that I thought was his best secondary pitch. Tonight it was his changeup. He threw it in the zone and used it well with two strikes.”
For LSU (29-10-1, 9-7-1), the loss snapped a four-game SEC winning streak on Friday nights.
Mississippi State 3, Missouri 2: The No. 24 Bulldogs (24-15, 8-8) opened their series in Columbia, Mo., with an 11-inning victory.
C.T. Bradford went 3 for 5, driving in the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th. He made a winner of relief pitcher Jonathan Holder (4-1).
Gavin Collins drove in a pair of runs for MSU with a double in the fourth. Missouri (17-19, 6-10) tied the game at 2 in the eighth on a bases-loaded wild pitch.
The teams play again today at 2 p.m.