On Bertman's Night, LSU Uses Homer for Win

Fireworks popped to celebrate the naming of Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Fireworks popped to celebrate the naming of Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Steve Franz
Seth Landry
Seth Landry

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.

It was only fitting that a home run would turn the tables hours after a dedication ceremony for Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

Bertman, who coached LSU to five College World Series championships from 1984-2001 before serving as Athletics Director until 2008, addressed the fans prior to the game as his 1993 title-winning squad served as a backdrop. "Skip Bertman Field" was added to the top of the scoreboard below Alex Box Stadium, and the same was added to the facade above the pressbox.

The 1993 champs celebrated their 20-year reunion just before Bertman's ceremony, with second baseman Todd Walker speaking on behalf of the team.

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. Live streaming video will be available to members of the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live.

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.

SEC Baseball Standings
Eastern Division SEC Overall 
Vanderbilt (1) 25-3 47-7
South Carolina (4) 17-11 39-15
Florida 14-15 29-26
Kentucky 10-19 29-24
Missouri 10-19 18-30
Tennessee * 7-20 21-30
Georgia * 6-20 20-32
Western Division SEC Overall 
LSU (2) 23-6 48-7
Arkansas (3) 18-10 35-18
Mississippi St. 15-14 39-16
Alabama 14-14 32-23
Ole Miss 14-15 35-20
Texas A&M 13-15 30-24
Auburn (10) 12-17 32-22
SEC Schedule

All Times Central and Subject to Change
( ) SEC Tournament seed
* eliminated from SEC Tournament field

Friday, May 17
Texas A&M def. Tennessee, 8-4
Arkansas def. Auburn, 1-0
Georgia def. Florida, 3-1
Missouri def. Kentucky, 4-3
Alabama def. Vanderbilt, 5-4 (10)
South Carolina def. Mississippi St., 5-3 (10)
LSU def. Ole Miss, 5-4

Saturday, May 18
Ole Miss at LSU, noon
Texas A&M at Tennessee, noon
Alabama at Vanderbilt, 1 p.m.
Arkansas at Auburn, 1 p.m.
Florida at Georgia, 1 p.m.
Kentucky at Missouri, 1 p.m.
South Carolina at Mississippi St., 2 p.m.

Print SEC Tournament Bracket (.pdf)

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.

LSU 5, Ole Miss 4 (May 17, 2013 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Ole Miss............ 100 000 210  -  4  7  0      (35-20, 14-15 SEC)
LSU................... 000 210 02X  -  5  7  1      (48-7, 23-6 SEC)
Pitchers: Ole Miss - Sam Smith; Aaron Greenwood(4) and Stuart Turner.
LSU - Kurt McCune; Nate Fury(5); Nick Rumbelow(6); Joey Bourgeois(8); Kevin Berry(8); Chris Cotton(9) and Ty Ross.
Win-Kevin Berry(4-0)  Save-Chris Cotton(12)  Loss-Aaron Greenwood(3-4)  T-2:52  A-12193
HR LSU - Raph Rhymes (4).
Actual Attendance: 10,015




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