HOOVER, Ala. – The Rebels stayed within striking distance for most of the game, but a big eighth inning put things out of reach as Ole Miss (35-24) fell to No. 2 LSU (43-15) by a score of 11-2 in an elimination game on Thursday.
Ole Miss will now await the announcement of the NCAA Tournament field with the selection show on Monday, May 28. The broadcast of the 2012 NCAA Tournament selection show will be at 11 a.m. CT on ESPNU.
Tanner Bailey (2-2) took the loss for the Rebels, allowing three runs on seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 3.0 innings of work.
Kevin Gausman (10-1) picked up the win as he held the Rebels to two runs on seven hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in 7.0 innings of work.
“LSU is a very good team and the game got away from us a little there at the end,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We pitched out of a lot of jams early and we were able to minimize a lot of opportunities, but you can’t play like that against one of the best pitchers in the country like Gausman. You have to keep momentum on your side.”
LSU got on the board in the first inning, loading the bases with three straight singles before a sac fly to center field brought the first run home. A single up the middle in the next at bat gave the Tigers a second run and LSU held a 2-0 lead before the Rebels would get out of the inning.
Ole Miss got on the board in the second when Will Allen singled to center field to bring in Auston Bousfield from third. Bousfield doubled to left to open the inning and moved to third on a groundout from Sikes Orvis that set up the score on the Allen hit to make it 2-1.
The Tigers took the lead back out to two runs in the third with a groundout to second from Ty Ross that brought Mason Katz in from third. Katz walked to open the inning and moved to third on a single from Raph Rhymes as LSU went up 3-1.
Ole Miss cut the lead in half in the sixth with a ground-rule double to left from Bousfield that brought Kirksey home from second. Kirksey reached on a single before advancing to second on a wild pitch. He then scored on the double to left from Bousfield that bounced over the wall and out of the park to make it 4-2.
LSU broke things open in the eighth inning with an RBI double from Austin Nola with two outs that scored Tyler Hanover and left two men in scoring position for the start of a big rally. The Rebels turned to the bullpen after the Nola double and LSU countered with pinch hitter Jordy Snikeris. Snikeris doubled to left center to drive in both runners and make it 7-2 in favor of the Tigers.
A single to right from Rhymes made it 8-2 and left runners at the corners as a throwing error from right allowed the lead runner to go from second to third on the play. LSU added its fifth run of the inning on a single to center from Tyler Moore to make it 9-2 before the Rebels would get a pair of fly outs to end the inning.
LSU would get a two-run home run in the ninth to make it 11-2 for the final margin of victory.
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