Rally falls short

A late rally fell a run short as No. 11 Ole Miss scored three runs in the top of the ninth but lost to second-ranked LSU 6-5 Saturday in Baton Rouge, La.

Ole Miss, which won game one of this series 7-4 Friday night, is now 16-7 on the season and 5-3 in SEC play. LSU improved to 20-6 and 5-3.

Game three is at 1 p.m. Sunday. Senior RHP Scott Bittle (1-2, 5.06 ERA) will start for Ole Miss, while sophomore RHP Austin Ross (3-2, 2.86 ERA) pitches for the Tigers.

The top of the order provided all of the offense for Ole Miss on the afternoon as Jeremy Travis went 2-for-5 with three RBI and Matt Smith went 2-for-5 with two RBI. Jordan Henry and Logan Power both scored a run each, while Henry was also 2-for-5 at the plate.

Phillip Irwin (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season as he allowed five runs on eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 5.1 innings of work. Nathan Baker closed out the game for the Rebels as he allowed one run on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

Louis Coleman (6-1) earned the win for LSU as he pitched 7.0 innings and held the Rebels to two runs on four hits with four walks and 10 strikeouts. Only one of the runs was earned.

"He came out and did a great job for them," Henry said of Coleman. "He was throwing strikes and mixing it up really well. We couldn't figure it out there for a while He went deep and pitched great for them."

LSU struck first, scoring a run in the third when Tyler Hanover crossed the plate on a single to left field from Jared Mitchell. Hanover reached on a single through the right side and then moved to second on a wild pitch. He then took third on a groundout to second from Leon Landry before scoring on the Mitchell hit. Mitchell then stole second before scoring on a single through the right side from Blake Dean to give LSU the 2-0 advantage.

The Tigers continued to add to the lead in the fifth when Ryan Schimpf came up with an RBI single to left center that drove in Dean from second. Dean doubled down the right field line with one out to spark the LSU rally.

Ole Miss got on the board in the sixth when Logan Power scored on a single to third from Matt Smith with two outs. Power walked before moving to second on a groundout from Jeremy Travis. Power then took third on a passed ball to score on the Smith hit.

The Tigers loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame before Dean came up with a 3-RBI single through the right side to push the LSU lead out to 6-1. Following a fly out to open the inning, back-to-back singles put two men on base before

Ole Miss called in Nathan Baker from the bullpen. Baker got the first batter faced to pop out before walking the bases loaded and giving up the base hit to Dean. He then got a fly out to center to end the inning with the home team leading by five.

Ole Miss pushed a second run across in the eight when Jordan Henry scored on a single from Jeremy Travis, but the Rebels left the bases loaded as LSU used two pitchers out of the bullpen to halt the Ole Miss rally.

The Rebels fought back with a furious rally in the ninth that netted three runs, but couldn't get the critical fourth run across the plate as reliever Paul Bertuccini struck out the final Rebel batter to end the game with a man on third.

A pinch-hitting David Phillips opened the ninth with a single before pinch-runner Tim Ferguson moved to second on an infield single from Henry. Power then came up with another infield single to load the bases before Travis came up with a two-RBI single to score Ferguson and Henry, while moving Power to third. Matt Smith then came up with an RBI single to score Power and move Travis to third before the Tigers got out of the inning with the strikeout.

"We were able to adjust (as the game went on) and get some better swings off," Henry said. "We came up just short."

Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said the Rebels were close to pulling it out.

"As I told the guys, everything counts," he said. "We didn't play that poorly. Coleman was terrific, but at the end of the day, you have to do a little more."

(Bill Bunting of Ole Miss athletics media relations provided the play by play information for this article.)

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