OXFORD, Miss. – For the eighth time this season it took extra innings to reach a result, but this time it didn’t come out in the Rebels’ favor as No. 10 Ole Miss (29-10, 9-7 SEC) fell to No. 7 LSU (29-9-1, 9-6-1 SEC) by a score of 4-3 in 13 innings Thursday night.
Tied 2-2 after nine innings of play, both teams pushed home a single run in the 11th, but LSU got the deciding run in the 13th to pick up the win in the series opener between the two teams.
Josh Laxer (2-2) took the loss in relief for the Rebels, allowing one run on three hits with two walks and a strikeout in 2.0 innings of work. Laxer entered with one out in the 11th and left the game in the 13th with the score tied 3-3, but put the winning run on base before leaving the game.
Parker Bugg (2-1) picked up the win in relief for LSU, working 1.0 scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Kurt McCune picked up his second save of the season, retiring the side in order in the 13th to preserve the win for the Tigers.
“I thought Chris Ellis and Aaron Nola both pitched terrific,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “It might have been Chris (Ellis) best outing of the year. He had pressure-packed pitches and did a great job.
“We had opportunities,” Bianco said. “We’ve been on the right side of it several times; today, it just didn’t happen. We didn’t make the big hit. We didn’t make the big pitch or play in the field.”
Ole Miss got out to the early lead, using a solo shot from Sikes Orvis in the second inning to get on the board.
LSU answered in the top of the third, however, scoring the tying run on a sac fly to left from Sean McMullen that brought home Connor Hale. Hale, who scored three of LSU’s four runs, reached on a walk and moved to third on a single through the right side from Christian Ibarra to set up the score on the McMullen fly ball and knot the score at 1-1.
The Tigers moved in front in the sixth inning when Alex Bregman scored on a fielding error at second on a ground ball that should have ended the inning. Bregman opened the frame with a single before moving to third on a one-out single to left from Tyler Moore. He then scored on the misplayed ball at second to put LSU on top 2-1.
The Rebels answered in the eighth, tying the game on a groundout to second from Will Allen that pushed Braxton Lee across the plate. Lee reached on a fielder’s choice before going to third on a single to left center from Auston Bousfield. The groundout to second from Allen brought him home and tied the game.
Both teams kept the other in check in the ninth to send the game into extra innings.
LSU moved in front for the second time on the night in the top of the 11th with an RBI single through the left side from pinch hitter Jake Fraley, but the Rebels answered in the home half of the inning on a sac fly to center from J.B. Woodman.
The Tigers would take a third and final lead in the 13th inning with an unearned run on a potential double play ball to short that would have ended the inning and kept the game tied.
Hale doubled with one out to put a man on for LSU before a walk put two men on. Danny Zardon then hit a ground ball to short that was misplayed and rolled into left, allowing Hale to score from second before the Rebels would get out of the inning.
Ole Miss couldn’t put together a third answering rally in the bottom of the inning as the Tigers claimed the opening game of the series.
The two teams will play game two of the series at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Swayze Field.
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