Tigers take down Ole Miss in 13-inning marathon
Published 11:30 am Friday, April 18, 2014
Twice Thursday night, Ole Miss put together a rally to stave off defeat.
The third time was not the charm.
LSU scored an unearned run in the top of the 13th inning on a booted double play ball, and held on to beat Ole Miss 4-3 in the series opener in Oxford.
The Tigers (29-9-1, 9-61 Southeastern Conference) blew one-run leads in the eighth and 11th innings before finally putting down the Rebels (29-10, 9-7) in the 13th.
“We had opportunities,” Ole Miss coach Mike 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.”
Will Allen’s RBI ground out in the eighth pulled Ole Miss even at 2-2. LSU’s Jake Fraley put LSU back in front with an RBI single in the 11th inning, but Ole Miss came back again in the bottom half to tie it on a sacrifice fly by J.B. Woodman.
In the 13th inning, the Tigers finally took the lead for good.
With runners at first and second, Danny Zardon hit a ground ball to short that was misplayed by Ole Miss’ Errol Robinson and rolled into left field. Conner Hale hustled home from second with the go-ahead run to put LSU ahead 4-3.
LSU closer Kurt McCune then retired the side in order in the bottom of the 13th to earn his second save of the season.
Mark Laird and Alex Bregman had two hits apiece for LSU, and Hale went 3-for-5 with a double and three runs scored.
Sikes Orvis hit a solo home run, his ninth of the season, for Ole Miss. Orvis and Robinson both had two hits.
Both starting pitchers threw well, although neither factored into the decision.
LSU’s Aaron Nola allowed eight hits, but only two runs in 7 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out seven.
Ole Miss’ Chris Ellis also allowed eight hits and two runs in eight innings. He walked two and struck out six.
“I thought Chris Ellis and Aaron Nola both pitched terrific,” Bianco said. “It might have been (Ellis’) best outing of the year. He had pressure-packed pitches and did a great job.”