Rebels take opener

Ole Miss was able to get to Anthony Ranaudo in a fashion that not many opponents have managed this season, recording scores in four separate innings against the sophomore right hander on Friday night, taking the 7-4 opening win of the series in the process.

Anthony Ranaudo's 2.01 ERA and 51 strikeouts headed into Friday night spoke volumes about where the New Jersey native had taken his game since returning from injury last season.

The visiting Rebels, however, payed little mind to that.

Ole Miss smacked three home runs off Ranaudo, two coming off the bat of freshman designated hitter Matt Snyder, his fourth and fifth homeruns of the year, respectively.

"That's a real good team, and they hit in the clutch and hit on my mistakes," Ranaudo said. "Guys are going deep on mostly fastballs, and playing in the SEC your mistakes are under a microscope.

"When you fall behind, they will take advantage of your mistakes. That is what has happened all year with the homeruns we have given up."

Snyder increased his average to a team high .455 after going 2-for-4 from the plate with two runs and four RBI.

"Being a freshman and in my first game here I was excited, but the good thing is we have had a lot of home games at Ole Miss, so I have gotten used to the fans," he said. "I think blocking everything out is really the big thing, and I have been able to do that so far this year."

Sophomore Drew Pomeranz pitched a gem for the Rebels, going seven innings of work for his second win of the season. After he scattered three hits in the opening frame, the southpaw held the Tigers hitless over the next five innings.

"After the first inning I just tried to slow things down and start hitting my spots," Pomeranz said. "Just getting in a rhythm, and once I got ahead with my curveball it made things so much easier."

LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said that the achilles heel of the team on the evening was not hard to see.

"We did not get out and swing the bats well tonight, and it cost us," he said. "You can't hit that poorly at the plate and make base running errors and expect to win in this league."

LSU made noise for the first time since the games opening minutes in the bottom of the seventh, which looked for the briefest of moments to be the brewing of a late game rally.

Chris McGhee stepped in to pinch hit for Micah Gibbs to lead off the inning, where he doubled off the wall in left field on a 1-2 pitch from Pomeranz.

Mikie Mahtook singled to shortstop two batters later, which placed runners on the corners for Leon Landry. The sophomore doubled down the right field line on the first pitch he saw, which scored both runners to narrow the gap, 3-6.

Yet, the Rebels matched the Tigers once more in the following frame by way of a Jeremy Travis homerun, which extended the visitor's lead to 7-3.

LSU would counter in the bottom of the frame with one more run by way of a Rebel error. The score would be the game's final run.

"We have got to come out tomorrow with good intensity and put this behind us," Landry said. "Pomeranz was, in my opinion, one of the better guys we have faced this year, and he proved it. We just have to start fresh tomorrow."

Ranaudo (2-2) allowed six hits, six earned runs and four walks in 6.2 innings of work. The sophomore recorded nine strikeouts on 96 pitches in his second loss of the season.

Pomeranz (2-0) allowed six hits, three earned runs and three walks in seven innings of work. He also recorded five strikeouts on 110 pitches.

The teams will be back in action for game two Saturday at 3 p.m. at Alex Box Stadium.

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