Four pitchers combined on a six-hit shutout and Conner Hale hit a solo home run to spark LSU to a 2-0 victory against Ole Miss in the deciding game of their Southeastern Conference series Saturday afternoon at Swayze Field in Oxford.
HOW THEY SCORED
LSU third inning - Hale singled and moved to second on a passed ball by Will Allen. Hale advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Christian Ibarra. Hale scored on a single by Andrew Stevenson. LSU 1, OLE MISS 0
LSU eighth inning - Hale hit a leadoff home run over the leftfield fence. LSU 2, OLE MISS 0
LSU WASTED SCORING OPPORTUNITIES
Fourth inning - With two out, Alex Bregman walked and stole second base. Kade Scivicque struck out.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYER
After not being in the lineup in the second game of the series Friday, Hale returned to have a huge impact. He singled to start the third inning and came around to score on a single by Stevenson. Hale gave LSU a two-run lead with his first homer of the year in the eighth inning. Hale has seven hits in the last three games in which he has started.
Making his second start of the season, freshman Alden Cartwright held Ole Miss scoreless in a season-high four innings. Cartwright retired the first ten hitters he faced. He allowed one-out singles by Auston Bousfield and Austin Anderson in the fourth. Cartwright escaped the jam by getting Allen to hit into a 6-3 double play. Cartwright struck out two batters. Cartwright has yielded runs in just three of his 14 appearances this season.
With Joe Broussard unavailable after throwing 3.1 innings Thursday, coach Paul Mainieri had to juggle the assignments for the bullpen. Hunter Devall, who had made just three appearances in SEC games, was the first pitcher out of the bullpen. Devall, who picked up his first victory of the season, permitted just two base runners in his 2.2 innings. Will Jamison singled with two out in the fifth before Devall retired Preston Overbey on a ground ball back to the mound. With two out in the seventh, Devall gave up a double by Sikes Orvis. Parker Bugg replaced Devall and got pinch-hitter Holt Perdzock to fly out to the centerfielder Stevenson. Bugg gave up a one-out single by pinch-hitter Dalton Dulin in the eighth. He ended the inning by getting Errol Robinson to line out to Stevenson and Braxton Lee to hit into a force play. Kurt McCune successfully handled the closer's role although the Rebels put the tying runs on base on a single by Anderson and a walk to Orvis. Perdzock grounded out to the second baseman Hale as McCune registered his third save of the season.
Mainieri stacked the top of the lineup with lefthanded batters against Ole Miss starting pitcher Sam Smith, who played his high school ball at Lake Charles (La.) Barbe. Stevenson led off with Laird in his normal second spot. Jake Fraley, who started in leftfield, batted third. Sean McMullen, the designated hitter batted fourth with first baseman Tyler Moore as the fifth-hole hitter. Those five players were a combined 3-for-19. Stevenson, Laird and Fraley each had a hit. . .Bregman batted sixth and went 0-for-3 as his hitting streak ended at four games. . .Laird hit safely in all four games on the road trip. He was 7-for-17 in the four games. . .The Tigers won the series even though Scivicque went 0-for-12. Scivcique, who caught Saturday, has three hits in his last 29 at-bats. . .LSU stranded four runners, two in scoring position. The Tigers were 1-for-3 with runners in scoring position. . .LSU was retired in order in five of the nine innings. . .Smith gave up two runs and five hits with one walk and four strikeouts in 7.1 innings. One of the two runs was unearned because of Allen's passed ball. . .Anderson had two of Ole Miss' six hits. . .The last time the Tigers shut out Ole Miss in a regular season game was 1993 in an 8-0 victory. . .LSU has won four consecutive series from the Rebels. . .LSU is 30-10-1 overall, 10-7-1 in the SEC. The Tigers are in third place in the overall conference standings - two games behind Alabama. . .Ole Miss is 30-11, 10-8 in the SEC. The Rebels are in fourth place. . .The paid attendance was 9,741.
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
"This was a tremendous team victory in which our pitching and defense were truly sensational. We were hoping to get two solid innings out of Alden Cartwright to start the game. He exceeded our expectations with a brilliant effort. He was completely unafraid in a very hostile environment and really set the tone for the game. Devall and Bugg followed Cartwright's lead with great outings. Then, our senior veteran, Kurt McCune did the job again in the ninth. To win a series here is a tremendous accomplishment. I could not be more proud of the LSU Tigers."
LSU will play host to Tulane at The Box on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. The Green Wave (15-22) lost two games in a series shortened by rain at Charlotte this weekend. Mainieri is undecided on the starting pitcher for the Tigers. The LSU-Tulane game will be broadcast on CST.