LSU, Mississippi State pick up series victories

Freshman right-hander Eric Walker fired 6.2 innings Saturday for his fifth win in five decisions, and second baseman Cole Freeman made a stellar defensive play to end the game as eighth-ranked LSU defeated Ole Miss, 3-2, in Baton Rouge Saturday.

LSU improved to 25-12 overall and 9-6 in SEC games while Ole Miss dropped to 22-14 overall and 7-8 in conference play.

Freeman secured the win for the Tigers, making an acrobatic leaping grab of a line drive off the bat of Ole Miss leftfielder Bryan Seamster with a runner on second and two outs in the top of the ninth inning.

“I told Cole Freeman not to let anyone ever tell him that he’s too short,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said in a press release. “I’m glad he’s 5-9 and not 5-8, or he wouldn’t have been able to make that play. This is SEC baseball, you’re competing against great players in every game, and it takes every ounce of everything you’ve got in order to win.”

Walker (5-0) earned the win, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out five and surrendering no walks. Right-hander Hunter Newman pitched the ninth and kept the Rebels off the scoreboard to earn his fifth save of the season.

Ryan Rolison (4-2) suffered the loss by allowing three runs (two earned) in 5.1 innings.

Mississippi State 5, South Carolina 4: Biloxi's Cody Brown went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a double as MSU clinched the series at Columbia on Saturday.

Trey Jolly (2-1) picked up the win for MSU with a scoreless eighth inning and Spencer Price held on in the ninth for his 13th save.

MSU will play South Carolina at 3 p.m. on Sunday in the series finale.