BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU right-hander Alex Lange took the air out of the revived Ole Miss offense, and the Tigers demolished the No. 2 pitching staff in the SEC in Thursday night's 15-2 win over the Rebels.
The home team's victory in the series opener came before an announced crowd of 10,439 fans at Alex Box Stadium.
The Tigers collected 15 hits, one of them a sixth-inning grand slam by Greg Deichmann to make it 14-0. Deichmann had three hits, and LSU outfielder Antoine Duplantis had four.
Ole Miss got on the board with a two-run double by Cole Zabowski with two outs in the ninth.
"It was our worst performance of the year, and it was against a good club, but you only get one loss out of this," Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. "We have to be ready to compete (today). It's disappointing. It always starts on the mound, and we weren't very good on the mound today."
The Rebels (21-13, 6-7 SEC) hit .285 against Alabama last weekend and were averaging 6.4 runs per game through their five-game win streak.
Things changed as Lange hit his spots and kept the Rebels from getting off many good swings.
He was perfect for 4 1/3 innings, not allowing a base-runner until a one-out single in the fifth by Tim Rowe. Lange went seven innings with a walk, three hits and seven strikeouts.
While Lange was in control so was his offense. The Tigers (24-11, 8-5) blew open a somewhat close game with four runs on five hits in the fifth. It all began when Ole Miss right-hander James McArthur allowed a two-out infield single.
McArthur had allowed no more than two earned runs in any of his previous six starts but gave up six earned runs on nine hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings.
He gave up single runs in the first four innings. LSU extended the lead in the fifth against Ole Miss reliever Andy Pagnozzi who faced four batters, hitting one and allowing three hits. Conner Green faced one batter and ended the fifth with a fly ball.
Rowe's hit set in motion the only meaningful threat for Ole Miss.
Nick Fortes followed Rowe with a walk, but it all ended when Lange got Thomas Dillard and Kyle Watson swinging.
"We got some good swings early on, and some balls didn't fall for us," Bianco said. "This (Lange's) fastball command was excellent, and he was able to throw more breaking balls into the strike zone."