Rebels' pitchers throw 3-hitter in delayed series-opening win over LSU
A good night’s sleep after a Friday night rain delay turned into a postponement until Saturday morning did not help 17th ranked LSU.
Ole Miss starting pitcher Dylan DeLucia and reliever Brandon Johnson combined for a three-hitter in a 5-3 SEC series opening victory over the Tigers early Saturday afternoon in Alex Box Stadium.
LSU (33-16, 14-11 SEC) and the Rebels (29-19, 11-14 SEC) were scheduled to meet in game two starting at 1:47 p.m.
DeLucia allowed a first-inning two-run homer by center fielder Dylan Crews and shortstop Jordan Thompson’s solo leadoff homer in the eighth immediately followed by catcher Tyler McManus' single that led to DeLucia’s exit.
Johnson entered and was perfect. He escaped a no-outs jam with a flyout by pinch-hitter Josh Stevenson and strikeouts by left fielder Gavin Dugas and right fielder Josh Pearson and then retired LSU in order in the Tigers’ final at-bat in the ninth.
DeLucia (5-0), a junior college transfer in his first-year with the Rebs, retired 18 of 19 batters starting Friday night after Crews’ home run stretching until Thompson’s eighth inning homer on Saturday. He finished allowing three earned runs with nine strikeouts and two walks.
LSU senior starting pitcher Ma’Khail Hilliard (5-1) was tagged with his first loss since 2019. He had two outs on Ole Miss in the Rebels’ second when right fielder John Kramer kept a rally alive by reaching first base on a wild pitch that would have been an inning-ending strikeout if McManus had been able to field the pitch.
Hilliard then imploded, giving up a walk and a two-RBI single to catcher Hayden Dunhurst and an RBI single by shortstop Jacob Gonzales for a 4-2 Ole Miss lead.
After Hilliard got through a scoreless Ole Miss third, the game was stopped because of a lighting delay as LSU started its at-bats in the bottom of third.
The game was eventually postponed to resume Saturday at 11 a.m.
When it began again, LSU coach Jay Johnson decided overnight to pull Hilliard in favor of reliever Ty Floyd while Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco stuck with DeLucia.
Floyd gave up just two hits and one run in six innings of work– a fifth-inning solo homer by Rebels’ first baseman Tim Elko. But LSU, besides its brief eighth-inning rally, never got anything going offensively.