On a dreary, rain-soaked Friday night, the top-ranked LSU Tigers and the defending National Champions, Ole Miss, meeting at Swayze Field in Oxford, Mississippi. Ole Miss and LSU fans alike had looked forward to this weekend of baseball for a while as the two heated rivals would deliver college baseball fans with a weekend filled with College World Series caliber baseball.
Early in the game on Friday night, LSU scored two runs to hold a Tigers lead heading to the bottom half of the 4th inning. In the bottom half of the 4th inning, Ole Miss would get two base runners, and a Will Furniss three-run shot would give Ole Miss a 3-2 advantage heading to the 5th. As the top half of the 5th rolled around for LSU, the Tigers would have Tommy White hammer a grand slam to regain a 6-3 lead over the Rebels. As impressive as the grand slam was for Tommy White and the LSU Tigers, one would lean on blaming the Ole Miss Head Coach, Mike Bianco, for leaving Xavier Rivas on the mound just a bit too long. At the time of the grand slam, Rivas was well over the 100-pitch count and had let LSU back into the striking distance by loading the bases. When Bianco came out to the mound to pull Rivas, Ole Miss fans at Swayze Field echoed their displeasure with the decision-making with a chorus of boos.
As expected for LSU, the Tigers had another incredible pitching outing from Paul Skenes, who earned eleven strikeouts and only gave up three runs from the Rebels in the 4th. Skenes pitched a full six innings before being replaced in the 7th by Griffin Herring.
As the game progressed, it became evident that the top-ranked LSU Tigers behind their grand slam in the 5th would be too much for the Ole Miss Rebels to overcome as they dropped game one of the three-game series against LSU on Friday night. LSU would add an insurance run in the top half of the 8th inning to make it 7-3 Tigers with six outs remaining for the Rebels of Ole Miss. Ole Miss would struggle in the 8th and 9th to overcome the LSU lead, and in the end, LSU would walk away with the 7-3 win over Ole Miss.
LSU will go for the series over Ole Miss on Saturday at Swayze Field, with a first-pitch slated for 2:00 local time. All the action on Saturday will be available to the nation on ESPN2 with the legendary Ben McDonald on the call.