OXFORD, Miss. – The Rebels got out to a quick lead on Friday night and responded to an LSU rally with four unanswered runs as No. 10 Ole Miss (30-10, 10-7 SEC) defeated No. 7 LSU (29-10-1, 9-7-1 SEC) by a score of 5-1 and evened the weekend series with the Tigers.
Ole Miss and LSU will play the rubber game of the series at 1 p.m. Saturday in a contest televised by Fox Sports.
Christian Trent (5-0) picked up the win over the Tigers, working 7.0 innings with one unearned run on seven hits, two walks and five strikeouts. He was one of two Rebel pitchers to see action on the night as right-hander Scott Weathersby worked the final 2.0 innings with four strikeouts and did not allow a hit.
Jared Poche’ (6-3) took the loss for the Tigers, allowing four runs – two of them earned – on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work.
“Christian (Trent) was terrific,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “I’m really proud of him because he pitched similar to the way he’s pitched for nine weeks. He was very efficient and attacked the strike zone.”
“The first six at bats Lee and Bousfield got hits or got on base,” Bianco said. “Braxton Lee has been swinging so well for the last few weeks or so. He has so much confidence and when he gets on, something is going to happen. He can take the extra base, steal or hit and run.
The Rebels got on the board in the first inning with an RBI single down the left field line from Austin Anderson that brought Lee home from third. Lee opened the inning with a single through the left side before going first-to-third on a single through the right side from Auston Bousfield. He then scored on the Anderson hit to give Ole Miss the 1-0 lead.
LSU answered with an unearned run in the third inning when Mark Laird scored on a fielding error at third on a ground ball from Kade Scivicque. Laird reached on a single and took second on a wild pitch before coming home from second on the misplayed ball at third. Ole Miss would get out of the inning without any more damage, however, and the game tied at one.
The Rebels answered in the home half of the third with a single run to take a 2-1 lead. Lee scored on a groundout to second from Will Allen to take the lead. Lee reached on a single and went to second on a single from Bousfield. Back-to-back groundouts to second brought him across the plate.
Bousfield again came up big in the fourth inning with a two-RBI single up the middle with the bases loaded to take the Rebels out to a 4-1 lead. The junior then capped the scoring with a solo shot to left in the seventh inning to take the lead out to its final 5-1 margin.
The two teams will decide the series at 1 p.m. Saturday in the finale.
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