Rebels take two from LSU, Tigers no-shows in second game

Published 2:36 pm Sunday, May 15, 2022

BATON ROUGE — Maybe it’s possible to have worse and longer day in Alex Box Stadium than LSU suffered through Saturday.

But first-year head coach Jay Johnson has a small sample size and for now Saturday’s debacle against Ole Miss will have to suffice.

The Tigers looked lifeless in finishing out the rain-delayed Friday opener with a 5-3 loss to Ole Miss, then were equally lethargic when the bottom fell out on an 11-1 loss to the Rebels.

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“We have not had a game like that in this stadium,” Johnson said. “That’s disappointing. I don’t have an explanation for it.”

The first game was resumed in the bottom of the third with LSU trailing 4-2.

Ole Miss Friday starter Dylan DeLucia picked up where he left off, pitching five more innings Saturday — seven in all — while holding the Tigers to three hits.

The tone of the second game was set when LSU starter Devin Fontenot got two quicks outs in the first before giving up solo home runs on back-to-back pitches to Tim Elko and Kevin Graham.

The Rebels added two in the second on No. 9 hitter Hayden Dunhurt’s two-run homer and it fell apart for LSU in the fourth when second baseman Gavin Dugas’ second error of the game opened the door for five runs.

Ole Miss finished with four home runs in the second game.

“The play, really, in all phases was not good,” Johnson said. “We were not good on the mound, made a couple (three) of errors and offensively we just didn’t get it going.

“There’s been very few games recently where that was the case.”

The Tigers were held to eight hits over the two games while striking out 25 times.

Dylan Crews’ hit a two-run homer in the first inning Friday before the thunderstorms came and Jordan Thompson had a solo shot in the eighth after play resumed Saturday.

LSU, which trailed 10-0 before scoring its lone run in the second game, fell to 33-17, 14-12 in the Southeastern Conference. The wins clinched the series for red-hot Ole Miss (30-19, 12-14), which is trying to play its way into tournament position.

The Tigers will try to salvage to final game at 1 p.m. today.

“We’re accountable for the effort, energy, concentration, attitude,” Johnson said. “Those are all controllable thing. That with his team has 90 percent been really good. Today was not.”

Johnson said he not sure of who will be LSU’s starting pitcher.

But one bright Saturday was the six innings of one-hit, one-run pitching from Ty Floyd, who took over for Ma’Khail Hilliard (5-1) when the game resumed and finished.

The Tigers did not get the second game close enough for Johnson to waste much of the better arms in his deep bullpen and should have plenty of options.

“It’s the great thing about baseball,” Johnson said, “You get to come back and play again tomorrow.”