BATON ROUGE, La.- Eighth-ranked LSU put on a strong all-around performance Friday night, collecting 15 runs on 15 hits while limiting Ole Miss to just four hits, as the Tigers (24-11) defeated the Rebels (21-13), 15-2, at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
LSU, which won its third straight SEC game, improved to 8-5 in league play, while Ole Miss saw its conference mark drop to 6-7.
LSU leftfielder Antoine Duplantis was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with four RBI. Rightfielder Greg Deichmann was also impressive, garnering three hits and a career high five RBI, including a grand slam.
The Tiger bats proved to be clutch all night, with 12 of LSU’s 15 runs coming with two outs. Second baseman Cole Freeman and designated hitter Jordan Romero each contributed two RBI to help pace the Tigers’ offense.
Right-hander Alex Lange (4-4) earned the win for LSU after firing seven innings and allowing just three hits and no runs, fanning seven.
“We had some clutch hitting, some two-out hitting, we ran the bases well, and we really just played a great game,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “I was really proud of the guys; I thought it was a challenge tonight because their starting pitcher has been a dominating pitcher in the SEC. We went out there and battled him, had some great at-bats, got off to a great start, and it kept going from there.”
Ole Miss starter James McArthur (2-2) was charged with the loss after giving up six runs on nine hits in 4.2 innings with three walks and no strikeouts.
Game 2 of the series is set for Friday night at 7 p.m. The game will be carried by affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, and the broadcast can be heard at www.LSUsports.net/live. The game may be viewed on SEC Network +, accessible at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app.
Fans are advised to come early to the stadium on Friday, as LSU will hold the jersey retirement ceremony of former all-America second baseman Todd Walker at 6:45 p.m.
In the bottom of the first inning Thursday, Romero smashed a chopper past third to drive in shortstop Kramer Robertson on a two-out RBI single to put LSU up 1-0.
Duplantis doubled to left center in the bottom of the second to bring in catcher Michael Papierski from first, as the Tigers took a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third inning, Romero singled to right for his second RBI of the night, scoring Deichmann, as LSU added to its advantage.
LSU tacked on its fourth run of the evening in the fourth inning after a wild pitch from McArthur allowed Duplantis to come home from third.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Tigers exploded for four runs that all came with two outs. Duplantis started things off with an RBI single up the middle to score pinch runner Jake Slaughter. With the bases loaded, Freeman plated two more runs to drive in Duplantis and Papierski, as the Tigers took a 7-0 advantage.
On the following play, Deichmann tacked on the eighth run of the game for the Tigers after another RBI single to bring home Robertson.
In the bottom of the sixth, Duplantis lifted LSU to double digits after sending a two-run RBI single up the middle as Slaughter and centerfielder Zach Watson crossed home plate, increasing the Tigers’ lead 10-0.
With the bases loaded, Deichmann continued the offensive showcase, blasting his 11th home run of the year and the second grand slam of his career over the right field wall to put LSU up 14-0.
The Tigers extended their lead to 15-0 in the bottom half of the seventh after pinch hitter Beau Jordan doubled to left to score Slaughter.
Ole Miss avoided the shutout in the top of the ninth after Cole Zabowski hit a two-run RBI double to put the Rebels on the board.
“The message to the team after the game was ‘Don’t even look up at the scoreboard,’” Mainieri said. “We can enjoy this for a little while, but it’s just one game and we need to re-focus for Game 2 of this series. We’re facing another tough pitcher tomorrow, and we’ve got to be ready to go. I expect us to have great focus, great intensity, great enthusiasm and energy to play this game tomorrow night.”