Baseball Falls to No. 19 Ole Miss, 7-6

by Bill Franques
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Baseball Falls to No. 19 Ole Miss, 7-6

OXFORD, Miss. – Shortstop Kevin Mort’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday lifted 19th-ranked Ole Miss to a 7-6 win over No. 5 LSU at Swayze Field.

The win completed a sweep of the SEC series for the Rebels, who improved to 28-13 overall, 11-7 in the league. LSU fell to 32-9 overall and 11-7 in conference play.

“Our kids competed extremely hard, but we couldn’t extend the lead when we had some chances,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “It was an intense series, and some tough ball games, but we have to move forward. I feel confident our team will recover quickly, because we have to. There’s still a long way to go in the season; we have 12 SEC games left to play.”

LSU scored three runs in the second inning against Ole Miss starter David Goforth to take a 3-0 lead. Second baseman Tyler Hanover delivered an RBI double, leftfielder Alex Edward contributed a sacrifice fly. Hanover scored the third run of the inning on a wild pitch.

Ole Miss rebounded to score three in bottom of the second  against LSU starter Chris Matulis.  Second baseman Alex Yarbrough produced an RBI grounder by Yarbrough a second run scored on an error charged to LSU shortstop Austin Nola, and  irst baseman Miles Hamblin bunted in a run on a suicide squeeze play.

LSU regained the lead in the fourth on a two-run homer by rightfielder Mikie Mahtook, his 10th of the season. The Tigers extended the lead to 6-3 in the fifth when centerfielder Leon Landry tripled and scored on a wild pitch by reliever Trent Rothlin.

Ole Miss scored a run in the sixth on leftfielder Taylor Hashman’s RBI single.

The Rebels tied the game with a pair of solo homers off of Matulis in the eighth. Matt Snyder’s dinger brought the Rebels to within one run, and Yarbrough’s shot to right field knotted the contest at 6-6.

Catcher Taylor Hightower and Hamblin hit consecutive singles to start the ninth for the Rebels, and LSU reliever Austin Ross walked Tim Ferguson intentionally to load the bases. Mort then delivered a single to left-center field to score Hightower with the winning run.

Ole Miss reliever Brett Humber (1-0) was credited with the win as he worked two scoreless innings and allowed one hit with three strikeouts.

Ross, who entered the game to start the ninth, dropped to 3-4 with the loss.

Matulis pitched a career-high 7.2 innings for the Tigers, allowing five earned runs on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts.