HOOVER, Ala. – Sophomore right-hander Kevin Gausman earned his 10th win of the season Thursday, and second-ranked LSU pounded out 17 hits en route to an 11-2 victory over Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament at Regions Park.
LSU improved to 43-15 and advanced to the quarterfinal round at 3 p.m. Friday against the loser of Thursday’s Kentucky-Mississippi State game. Ole Miss (35-24) was eliminated from the tournament with Thursday’s loss.
LSU’s 17-hit attack was paced by senior third baseman Tyler Hanover, who recorded a career-best four hits and scored two runs. Hanover has 269 career hits and moved into a tie for 10th place on the LSU all-time hits last.
Catcher Ty Ross, making his first start since undergoing an appendectomy on May 12, delivered two hits and two RBI and senior shortstop Austin Nola collected three hits, three runs and one RBI.
Reserve catcher Jordy Snikeris came off the bench to add a two-run homer and a two-run double for the Tigers.
Gausman (10-1) limited the Rebels to two runs on seven hits in seven innings with one walk and seven strikeouts. Ole Miss starter Tanner Bailey (2-2) was charged with the loss as he allowed three runs on seven hits in three innings with one walk and two strikeouts.
“I really like the way we approached the ball game today after yesterday’s loss (to Mississippi State),” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “There was no sulking and no one was hanging their head. We came to the park with a lot of energy and a determination to extend our stay here. We love playing in Hoover and we’d like to stay here for as long as possible.”
LSU struck for two runs on four hits in the first inning as first baseman Tyler Moore delivered a sacrifice fly and Ross lined an RBI single.
Ole Miss narrowed the gap to 2-1 in the second as centerfielder Auston Bousfield doubled and scored on a single by catcher Will Allen.
The Tigers plated a run in the third when rightfielder Mason Katz walked, moved to second on a single by leftfielder Raph Rhymes, advanced to third on Moore’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Ross’ groundout to second base.
LSU extended the advantage to 4-1 in the sixth when Hanover singled, moved to second on centerfielder Arby Fields’ sacrifice fly, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a squeeze bunt by designated hitter Grant Dozar.
Ole Miss centerfielder Auston Bousfield ripped an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth, reducing LSU’s lead to 4-2.
The Tigers, however, exploded for five runs in the top of the eighth against Ole Miss relievers Aaron Greenwood and Dylan Chavez, sending 10 men to the plate. Nola ripped an RBI double, Snikeris blasted a two-run double, Rhymes contributed an RBI single and Moore lined a run-scoring single to highlight the uprising.
Snikeris’ two-run homer in the ninth, his third dinger of the season, accounted for the final margin.