OXFORD-- No. 24 Ole Miss scored nine runs in the bottom of the first en route to a 16-5 win over Florida International Sunday afternoon. The victory secured the Rebels (3-0) a three-game sweep to begin the season.
Ole Miss is off to a 3-0 start for the fourth time in the past six seasons, and ninth overall under head coach Mike Bianco.
Every Rebel in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit at the plate. Ole Miss scored 16 runs on 12 hits, led Tate Blackman, Will Golsan and J.B. Woodman with two hits apiece. Blackman capped off an impressive start to his sophomore campaign with his third straight multi-hit game, and Woodman belted a three-run homer for his first of the season. Making his first start as a Rebel, freshman shortstop Ryan Olenek tallied a team-high four RBI.
On the mound, Sean Johnson (1-0) pitched five innings in his first action since undergoing Tommy John surgery last season. The redshirt-junior allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits and two walks, while striking out five.
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Mississippi State 15, South Dakota State 5: Mississippi State (2-2) routed South Dakota State at Dudy Noble Field. MSU collected 52 base hits, including 20 doubles. MSU erased an early 1-0 deficit with four runs in the first inning. The Bulldogs then blew the contest open with a six-run third inning. The contest lasted seven innings because of a run rule.
Junior college transfer Jack Kruger had another monster day at the plate. Kruger scored four runs, with three base hits and three RBIs. For the weekend, the California native was 9-of-16 at the plate. Reid Humphreys, Ryan Gridley and Luke Alexander each added two hits apiece. For the weekend, the Bulldogs collected 17 multi-hit games. Kruger and Gridley each had four for the weekend.
Zac Houston of Poplarville drew the start for MSU but was lifted with two outs in the fourth inning. Houston allowed six hits and five runs (one earned), with three walks and three strikeouts. Blake Smith, Ryan Rigby, Paul Young and Ryan Cyr followed Houston to the mound. Smith (1-0) pitched two innings to garner his first victory with the Maroon and White.
No. 5 LSU 12, Cincinnati 4: Fifth-ranked LSU (3-0) blasted four home runs and collected 10 hits Sunday to defeat Cincinnati, sweeping the series at Alex Box Stadium. LSU senior starter John Valek III (1-0) made his debut in Purple and Gold, earning the win after throwing 5.2 innings and give up four runs, two earned. The southpaw only allowed four hits and struck out seven.
The Tigers' home run power surge was led by junior DH Bryce Adams, who launched a grand slam, and by junior catcher Jordan Romero, who hit a solo homer to cap a 3-for-4 weekend at the plate with four RBI, including a game-winning walk-off single on Friday night. A two-run blast by freshman third baseman O'Neal Lochridge in the fourth inning broke a 2-2 and gave the Tigers the lead for good.