BATON ROUGE, La. – The Rebels took an early lead and fought back with a furious rally late, but couldn’t overcome a big sixth inning from the home team as Ole Miss (18-9, 3-4 SEC) fell at No. 17 LSU (19-7, 2-5 SEC) by a score of 7-6 on Friday night at Alex Box Stadium.
Matt Snyder paced the Rebel offense with a 2-for-3 performance and a home run in a back and forth battle, but Ole Miss couldn’t complete a late rally in the team’s first Friday night loss of the season.
Matt Crouse (6-1) suffered his first setback of the year as he allowed seven runs – six of them earned – on 10 hits with a walk and four strikeouts. Crouse had won nine consecutive decisions dating back to April 13, 2010 when he fell at Memphis in his only other loss in his career. He had also allowed only two runs in his previous four starts.
Kurt McCune (5-0) picked up the win for the Tigers as he allowed three runs on six hits with four walks and six strikeouts. Kevin Berry picked up his second save as he worked the final 2.0 innings and held the Rebels to one hit.
“We hit the ball really hard tonight,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “Offensively, we did a pretty good job against a guy who has been tough on everybody. Matt Crouse really battled out there, but we didn’t help him enough early.”
Ole Miss loaded the bases with one out in the first, threatening LSU early, but couldn’t get a run home as LSU got out of the inning without any damage.
LSU answered in the bottom of the inning, scoring first on a solo home run from Mikie Mahtook to open the second inning and put the Tigers on the board.
Ole Miss tied things up in the third, however, when Alex Yarbrough came up with an RBI double to the wall in left center that scored Blake Newalu from first. Yarbrough moved to third on a groundout to short from Matt Smith and then gave the Rebels the lead when he scored on a single through the right side from Matt Tracy to put Ole Miss up 2-1.
Matt Snyder extended the lead to 3-1 in the fourth inning with a solo shot to right field.
LSU evened things up again in the bottom of the frame, using a second home run from Mahtook to cut the lead to one. The Tigers then got back-to-back singles to put men at the corners with no outs before Alex Edward reached on a fielder’s choice to short that scored Austin Nola from third.
The Tigers moved back into the lead in the sixth inning when Edward scored from third on a groundout to short from Raph Rymes. LSU then went back up by two on a single up the middle from Hanover that gave the Tigers the 5-3 lead.
The Tigers continued to build on the lead when Mahtook came up with a two-out RBI single to right with men at first and second. The single drove in the first run, but a throwing error from home to second in an attempt to get Mahtook out allowed a second run to score as Mahtook advanced to third on the play. Reliever Mike Mayers then got a strikeout of Nola to end the inning as the Rebels trailed 7-3.
Ole Miss mounted a furious rally in the eighth, getting a single and a double to open the inning before a triple from Miles Hamblin scored two runs. Taylor Hightower then notched an infield single to score Hamblin from third and pull the Rebels within one at 7-6.
The Rebels couldn’t complete the rally in the ninth, however, as LSU held on to claim the win by one run.
Ole Miss and LSU will take the field for game two of the series at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday at Alex Box Stadium.
On the transition as new hitting coach: The transition has been really good. The coaching staff has made it a lot easier on me than what it could be. It's definitely been a whirlwind. On what he knew about Ole... read more
Here are more of Coach Freeze's interviews in Bristol. Scroll down to the earlier post to hear him on Ivan Maisel's podcast. Watch: Freeze on CFB Live Watch: Freeze on the Paul Finebaum Show Listen: Freeze on the Freddie Coleman... read more
All 14 Southeastern Conference football coaches will travel to ESPN's annual mid-summer football coaches "car wash" - in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day - at ESPN's Bristol, Conn., headquarters on Monday and Tuesday. Ole... read more
Ole Miss took its turn at the annual SEC Media Days on Thursday. Joining head coach Hugh Freeze was senior quarterback Bo Wallace, junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and senior safety Cody Prewitt. Here are a few related SEC Media... read more
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said on day one that his expectations were to make the program relevant in the Southeastern Conference Western Division. With a full allotment of 85 scholarship players and more depth of both sides of... read more
Once overshadowed, Wallace now finds himself more firmly in the spotlight after the departure of seven of the league's eight top passers. The dean of SEC quarterbacks, Wallace is the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing... read more
Before taking his turn at the podium in the main room at SEC Media Days on Thursday, head coach Hugh Freeze met with members of the Ole Miss local media and addressed a wide variety of topics. Here are some... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Three of SEC Media Days, which featured Steve Shaw (SEC), Justin Connolly (ESPN),... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Two of SEC Media Days, which featured South Carolina, Mississippi State, Texas A&M... read more
NFL.com CFB 24/7 has counted down the 14 college football players to watch -- and some other college football topics -- in varying categories in 2014. Below are the highlights for Ole Miss and the link to the complete 14... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day 1 of SEC Media Days, which featured SEC commissioner Mike Slive, Auburn, Florida... read more
Former Ole Miss player Zack Cozart, now a member of the Cincinnati Reds, was named the best defensive shortstop in baseball for the first half of the 2014 season. ESPN Insider Scott Spratt selected one player from either league at... read more
The Season: Ole Miss Baseball: Omaha Bound from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 1: Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 2: Super Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 3: CWS Games 1 & 2... read more
Three student-athletes and the head coach of each of the 14 Southeastern Conference football programs will participate in SEC Football Media Days, July 14-17, at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.Ole Miss will take its... read more