Grand slam gives Ole Miss series over LSU

An eighth-inning grand slam from Josh Christian propelled Ole Miss past LSU for a 10-7 series clinching win Sunday afternoon at Swayze Field in Oxford. The Tigers entered the inning with a three-run lead but saw it fizzle with their relief pitching served up costly walks and a long ball to the Rebels' designated hitter.

Despite leaving eleven men stranded and committing four errors, Ole Miss (16-7, 2-4 Southeastern Conference) earned its first series win over LSU (15-11, 2-4) under head coach Mike Bianco, a former LSU assistant under Skip Bertman.


The Rebels last took a series from LSU in 1998, winning the final two games of the regular season in Oxford.


With LSU leading 7-4, the table was set for Ole Miss in the eighth with a leadoff walk from reliever Brad David to pinch hitter Barry Gunter. A catcher's interference call on LSU's Chris Phillips loaded the bases with one out, and Welyin Guidry (L, 0-1) replaced David on the mound to issue a run-scoring walk to Dustin Cliburn.


A sacrifice fly from Chad Sterbins narrowed the LSU lead to 7-6, and another walk issued to Drew Rogers loaded the bases and chased Guidry from the game.


Brian Wilson entered the game for LSU and served up a fastball appetizer before Christian took the main course 408 feet to left center field.


LSU held a 4-1 lead after three at-bats thanks to a pair of singles from Aaron Hill. His base hit to left in the first inning scored J.C. Holt, and Hill came home on a Matt Heath double after a leadoff hit in the third.


Wally Pontiff, who extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a single in the seventh, also scored on the Heath double. After Pontiff walked to follow Hill's single, they executed a double steal with Sean Barker at the plate.


Ole Miss drew back to within a run in the bottom of the third with the help of consecutive one-out singles and a two-out, two-run hit from Matt Tolbert.


The Rebels tied the game at 4-4 in the sixth following a leadoff double from Tolbert. Charlie Waite's sacrifice bunt put Tolbert at third and ended the day for LSU starter Jake Tompkins. He finished with seven hits, four walks and six strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings with three earned runs.


Hill helped move LSU back in front with a one-out single in the seventh inning, and Pontiff followed with his lone base hit of the day. After Heath loaded the bases with a one-out walk, Blake Gill slapped a single to right that allowed Hill and Pontiff to cross the plate. Heath scored on the play when Waite, the Ole Miss catcher, failed to grasp a throw from the outfield and relief pitcher Al Sirmontis threw wildly trying to get Heath at third base.

Glen Morris (W, 1-0) earned the win for the Rebels in relief, pitching the eighth inning and holding the score at 7-4. Adam Yates recorded his third save of the season by sitting the Tigers in order in the ninth.

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