From LSU Sports
BATON ROUGE, La. -- A two-run eighth-inning homer by senior leftfielder Raph Rhymes lifted No. 2 LSU (48-7, 23-6 SEC) to a thrilling 5-4 victory over No. 14 Ole Miss (35-20, 14-15 SEC) Friday night at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
The Tigers and Rebels meet in the series finale Saturday at Noon. The game will air on the CBS Sports Network and the LSU Sports Radio Network.
LSU's 48 regular-season victories are the most in school history, and its 23 league wins are the most in Fighting Tiger annals.
"This certainly wasn't one of the best games we played this season," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri, "and it looked pretty grim when Ole Miss took the lead in the eighth inning, but our players continued to believe we bounce back. (LSU first baseman) Mason Katz battled after being down two strikes in the count and came up with a big base hit, and then Raph followed with a blast to give us the lead. I knew as soon as it left his bat it was gone; I didn't even watch it to see exactly where it landed."
LSU fell behind early Friday after an RBI single from Rebel third baseman Andrew Mistone gave Ole Miss a 1-0 advantage.
The Tigers answered in the fourth inning with two runs on a sacrifice fly from Rhymes (1-for-3 with three RBIs) and a bases-loaded walk from catcher Ty Ross.
Outfielder Mark Laird led off the fifth inning with his first triple of the season. He then came home on an RBI groundout from shortstop Alex Bregman, giving the Tigers a 3-1 lead.
Ole Miss responded in the seventh, leveling the game at 3-3 on a LSU throwing error and an RBI base hit from shortstop Austin Anderson. The Rebels later regained the lead in the eighth on an RBI groundout.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth, first baseman Mason Katz (2-for-4) delivered a single to centerfield. Rhymes then connected for a go-ahead blast over the wall in left-center, giving the Tigers a 5-4 lead. It was his fourth home run of the season and his second in as many games.
In the ninth inning, Chris Cotton retired the three Rebel hitters he faced in order including a game-ending strikeout, marking his 12th save of the season.
Senior right-hander Kevin Berry (4-0) -- the fifth of six LSU pitchers -- earned the victory, allowing one hit and one walk in two thirds of an inning.
Ole Miss reliever Aaron Greenwood (3-4) suffered the defeat, giving up three runs on three hits while striking out five in 4.2 innings of work.