By Randy Rosetta/Special to the Journal
BATON ROUGE, La. – The hits kept on coming for Ole Miss on Thursday when the Rebels tangled with No. 2-ranked LSU at Alex Box Stadium.
And while there were plenty of them for the Rebels, they were not loud enough or timely enough to balance the Tigers’ more productive assault.
LSU cruised to a 7-1 win, using four home runs and four doubles to take an early lead and then pull away.
Ole Miss (35-19, 14-14 SEC) racked up 11 hits, eight against Tiger starter Cody Glenn. But only once in the first seven innings did the Rebels produce consecutive hits and none went for extra bases. Ole Miss stranded 13 runners, six in the last three innings.
“That was really the story of the game,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “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 (LSU) did.”
The teams continue the series at 7 p.m. today with Rebels right-hander Sam Smith (3-0, 3.15 ERA) – another Louisianan playing in his home state – squaring off against LSU righty Kurt McCune (3-1, 3.18).
The Rebels’ only run came across in the seventh inning when Tanner Mathis, Austin Anderson and Stuart Turner got to Glenn for three hits in a row. Before then, Ole Miss put baserunners in every at-bat but was 0-for-14 following a hit or a hit batter.
By the time the three hits in a row arrived, the Rebels were down 5-0 because the Tigers (47-7, 22-6) made much more of their hits.
Alex Bregman and Raph Rhymes chased home runs in the first inning to give LSU a 2-0 cushion. Mason Katz and Christian Ibarra cranked solo home runs in the fourth inning and Rhymes circled the bases in the sixth for an inside-the-park homer on a sinking liner that Auston Bousfield dove for and missed.
Mathis went 4-for-4 in his return to Louisiana, and Anderson, Andrew Mistone and Preston Overby each had two hits. The rest of the batting order was 1-for-23.