OXFORD -- Kicking off a Southeastern Conference series between two rivals, No. 9 Ole Miss broke out the bats and made a pair of plays at the plate to defeat No. 8 LSU 7-6 Thursday night at Swayze Field. Junior J.B. Woodman recorded two RBI doubles and threw out two baserunners at home to lead the Rebels (32-11, 11-8 SEC) to a one-run victory over the Tigers (27-15, 10-9 SEC).
"That's eight assists for him now. He's got a knack for it," said Ole Miss Head Coach Mike Bianco "It's a combination of him charging the ball, and then getting his body back under control. He's extremely accurate, and he's big in clutch situations."
Hot bats were the theme of the night for the Rebels. Notably, the first four Ole Miss hitters tallied nine of the 11 hits. Six of those nine hits went for extra bases. Errol Robinson, Ryan Olenek, Tate Blackman and Woodman knocked at least two hits apiece. Both of Robinson's hits went for extra bases as the Rebel shortstop smacked a double and a triple. Blackman led the way with three hits and three RBI, tying career highs. Woodman continued his role as captain clutch when he doubled twice to knock in a pair of runners in scoring position.
The Ole Miss bullpen pitched a combined 5.2 innings and limited LSU to just two runs (one earned) on four hits. Brady Feigl's (4-0) 0.2 scoreless innings earned the redshirt freshman a victory. After being named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association's Stopper of the Year Award midseason watch list earlier in the day, junior Wyatt Short pitched the final two innings without allowing a run to earn his seventh save of the season and 20th of his career.
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Jake Fraley went 3-for-5, while Jordan Romero tallied three RBI on the night for the Tigers. Ole Miss got four runs on eight hits off LSU's starting southpaw Jared Poche', but right-handed pitcher Parker Bugg (0-2) ultimately suffered the loss after giving up three earned runs on two hits in 2.0 innings.
LSU and Ole Miss tussled back and forth throughout the night. The Tigers put two runs on the board during the first frame on two hits. However, the Rebels wasted no time and answered with two runs of their own. Olenek got the Rebels going in the two hole when he ripped a double to left field. Blackman drove Olenek home with a single to left field. The play at the dish was a close one, but the ball got away from the LSU catcher and cut the lead to 2-1. Woodman followed with a double of his own, cranking the ball to left field to plate Blackman.
After a scoreless second inning, both teams put two runs up in the third to make it a 4-4 ballgame. LSU put a pair of runs up on Rebel starting pitcher Brady Bramlett, but the Rebels responded once again. Back at the top of the order, Robinson ripped the third Ole Miss double of the night. Olenek executed his job perfectly as his sacrifice bunt moved Robinson to third base. Blackman followed with a double to right field to reduce the LSU lead to 4-3. The Rebels tied the game when Woodman hit off the fence in right field to plate Blackman.
With the ball game tied at four runs apiece, the Tigers grabbed the lead once again in the sixth inning. After a Rebel miscue, an LSU run scored on a groundout.
The Rebels took their first lead of the game with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Pinch-hitting, Holt Perdzock worked the pitcher for a walk and was moved over by Cameron Dishon's sacrifice bunt. Robinson took his shot with a runner in scoring position and ripped a triple to right field, sending Perdzock home. Olenek then reached base on a fielder's choice, while Robinson took his chance and scored on an error by the LSU pitcher at the plate to put the Rebels in front. Blackman helped to extend the lead to 7-5 when his sacrifice fly to right field scored Olenek.
Short entered the game with one LSU runner on during the eighth inning. Woodman helped Short out when he took a single on one hop to gun the tying run out at the plate. The lefty pitcher shut the rest of the game down for the Rebels, earning the save and clinching the 7-6 series-opening win.
Ole Miss and LSU return for game two of the series Friday night at Swayze Field. Friday's first pitch is set for 6:30 p.m with sophomore David Parkinson on the mound for Ole Miss, going up against LSU sophomore Alex Lange. Fans can tune into the action on SEC Network+ as well as the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network.