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Poche’ Gives Up Long Ball, Ole Miss Evens Series

Rebels take advantage of four solo shots to beat LSU 4-1

Steve Franz / LSU Athletics

After LSU exploded for 15 runs Thursday night, they couldn’t find enough for take the series from Ole Miss in game two, losing 4-1 The Tigers drop to 24-12 while the Rebels move to 22-13 on the season.

Ole Miss started off the game with a leadoff home run to left field. Tate Blackman skied a ball and the stiff wind blowing out to left field did the rest. Antoine Duplantis tracked the ball all the way to the wall before watching it sail just out of his reach.

LSU got the run back in the bottom of the second when Zach Watson took the first pitch he saw and laced it down the left field line. Watson moved to third on a groundball from Coomes and scored on Josh Smith’s high bouncer past his counterpart at third. LSU would have kept the inning going but Colby Bortles snagged a Papierski liner and somehow turned a 5-4-3 double play to bail Ole Miss out of a potential jam.

Ole Miss surged ahead in the fourth with two solo home runs from Bortles and Fortes to take a 3-1 lead, both to left field just like Blackman’s to lead off the game. Poche’ got the Rebels in order in the fifth but allowed another solo shot to left to Blackman to put Ole Miss ahead 4-1.

“It was pretty obvious the difference in the game tonight was that they hit four solo home runs and we didn’t,” LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said. “We had chances.”

“Tonight we just couldn’t get those hits. And they had four swings of the bat and had four runs.”

Between the first and second home runs Poche’ seemed to be cruising, retiring 10 straight batters. In his seven inning pitched Poche’ stuck out a career high nine batters and issued one walk while only giving up five hits. It just so happens that four of those five hits left the ballpark in left field.

“I though Jared pitched his heart out except for those four pitches, which is tough luck” Mainieri said of his senior lefthander. “But outside of that he pitched a really good ballgame and we just couldn’t get enough offense to support him.”

For the most part, LSU just couldn’t find the same stroke into the wind that LSU could. Many a charge were put into balls and LSU did not get cheated with contact, but a lot of the Tigers hits in the air were tracked down in fair play.

David Parkinson kept LSU in check for 6.1 innings, allowing six hits nearly all spaced out and one run while striking out three and walking none. The junior lefty did a good job of inducing positive contact and letting his defense behind him do all the work.

“Tonight just wasn’t our night and sometimes that’s just how it happens sometimes in the game,” Mainieri said. “We’re gonna come back tomorrow and hopefully give ourselves a chance to win the series.”

LSU will meet Ole Miss Saturday at 2 p.m. for the rubber match, which will be broadcast online via the SEC Network+.