Verdugo, Gibbs Help Baseball Salvage Series Finale, 8-2
OXFORD, Miss. — Junior left-hander Ryan Verdugo fired the first complete game of his LSU career Sunday and catcher Micah Gibbs drove in four runs to lead the Tigers to an 8-2 victory over No. 18 Ole Miss at Swayze Field.
LSU improved to 22-13 overall and 6-9 in the SEC with Sunday’s victory. Ole Miss, which saw its nine-game win streak end, fell to 24-12 overall and 9-6 in league play.
LSU returns to action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when the Tigers play host to Nicholls State in Alex Box Stadium.
Right-hander Jared Bradford was scheduled to start Sunday’s game for LSU; however, he had problems with a blister on his hand during pre-game warm-ups. Verdugo (6-2) was called into action, and he responded with a gem, limiting the Rebels to two runs on three hits in nine innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
Gibbs led LSU’s 13-hit attack, as he was 3-for-5 at the plate with a homer and four RBI.
“I’m very proud of our players for rebounding from a couple of tough losses to win this game today,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We were determined to produce more offense today, and we did against some talented Ole Miss pitching.
“Ryan Verdugo was just outstanding on the mound. He gave us a tremendous effort when he was pressed into duty at the last minute. Our guys battled all weekend, and today we got an important victory.”
LSU seized a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning against Ole Miss starter Cody Satterwhite when rightfielder Derek Helenihi singled, moved to third on first baseman Matt Clark‘s single and scored on an RBI single by shortstop DJ LeMahieu.
An RBI single by designated hitter Jared Mitchell in the top of the fourth extended the Tigers’ lead to 2-0.
Ole Miss responded to narrow the gap to 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth when centerfielder Logan Power launched a solo homer, the first hit of the game allowed by Verdugo.
LSU second baseman Ryan Schimpf launched a homer off of Satterwhite to lead off the fifth inning, giving the Tigers a 3-1 advantage. The homers was Schimpf’s second of the series and his seventh on the year.
Ole Miss reduced the deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the frame when catcher Brett Basham lined an RBI single.
The Tigers stretched the lead to 4-2 in the sixth when Gibbs unloaded a solo homer, the first dinger of his career.
LSU added two more runs in the seventh when third baseman Michael Hollander and leftfielder Blake Dean hit consecutive one-out singles, and Gibbs drove them home with a two-out single against Ole Miss ace reliever Scott Bittle.
The Tigers added two runs in the eighth against Bittle, who surrendered four runs ? three earned ? on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
Satterwhite (3-2) was charged with the loss as he allowed four runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings with one walk and four strikeouts.
LSU 8, Ole Miss 2 (Apr 13, 2008 at Oxford, Miss.)
LSU………………. 010 111 202 – 8 13 1 (22-13, 6-9 SEC)
Ole Miss………… 000 110 000 – 2 3 1 (24-12, 9-6 SEC)
Pitchers: LSU – Ryan Verdugo. Ole Miss – C. Satterwhite; Scott Bittle(6); Brett Bukvich(9).
Win-Ryan Verdugo(6-2) Loss-C. Satterwhite(3-2) T-2:36 A-4902
HR LSU – Ryan Schimpf (7); Micah Gibbs (1).
HR OM – Logan Power (6).