Travinski’s pinch-hit home run in the ninth gives LSU a sweep of Ole Miss

Published 9:09 pm Sunday, April 23, 2023

OXFORD — In a Sunday slugfest, LSU got in the last punch.

Pinch-hitter Hayden Travinski hit a two-out, two-strike, three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to give No. 1 LSU a 7-6 win over Ole Miss.

It was Travinski’s first home run of the season. He has only started one game and played in 16 this season.

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“Hayden has a lot of power, obviously,” LSU coach Jay Johnson said. “He’s been improving as we’ve been going along. He was hurt in the fall, but he kept working. It’s a combination of baseball improvement, along with maturity and attitude. He’s been a team guy this whole time. He’s a big reason we won the game yesterday, and obviously a big reason we won today.”

LSU (32-7, 12-5 Southeastern Conference) swept the three-game series from the Rebels (21-19, 3-15), who have yet to win an SEC series in six tries. The defending national champs were swept for the third time.

“The last couple of days have been like the last several weeks. Mentally and emotionally, it’s tough,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “But they’ve competed. They show up every single day. We’ve just got to play better.”

Kemp Alderman hit a solo home run in the seventh inning and Judd Uttermark a two-run shot in the eighth to give Ole Miss a 6-4 lead.

Mitch Murrell only needed four pitches to get the first two outs in the top of the ninth, then fell apart. He walked Jared Jones and hit Brayden Jobert. Murrell took Travinski to a 1-2 count, but hung a breaking ball across the plate. Travinski sent it down the left field line and over the fence to put LSU ahead 7-6.

“Not too many people hit his breaking ball,” Bianco said. “It’s a tough one to swallow.”

LSU’s Gavin Guidry gave up a one-out double to Calvin Harris in the bottom of the ninth, but got the next two batters out for his first save of the season.

LSU will host Nicholls State on Tuesday, and then is at No. 6 South Carolina in its next SEC series beginning Thursday night.

Ole Miss heads to Trustmark Pearl in Pearl for its annual Governor’s Cup game vs. Mississippi State Tuesday at 6 p.m.. After that, it returns home for a series vs. Georgia beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m.

“You do the best you can. Days like this, obviously it’s really hard,” Bianco said.