OXFORD, Miss. - LSU second baseman JaCoby Jones drove in five runs Sunday, and right-hander Aaron Nola worked seven strong innings to lead fourth-ranked LSU to a 12-3 win over No. 24 Ole Miss at Swayze Field.
LSU, which won the series over the Rebels two games to one, improved to 38-11 overall and 16-8 in the SEC. The Tigers are tied with South Carolina for first place in the overall league race, and LSU has a four-game lead over Arkansas and Mississippi State in the Western Division standings.
Ole Miss dropped to 31-18 overall and 11-13 in the league with Sunday's loss.
LSU returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday when the Tigers play host to Vanderbilt in Alex Box Stadium in Game 1 of a three-game series.
Jones, playing in his home state of Mississippi, was 3-for-5 at the plate with a double, a homer and a career-best five RBI. Shortstop Austin Nola contributed a three-run homer, and rightfielder Mason Katz and catcher Ty Ross each unloaded solo shots.
The Tigers' four homers were the most by LSU in a single contest since May 20, 2010 when it hit four dingers against Mississippi State in Alex Box Stadium.
Aaron Nola (6-2) limited the Rebels to three runs on seven hits in seven innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
|SEC Baseball Standings|
"I was very confident in the ability of Aaron Nola to pitch in this environment with great success," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "He's a young man with an inordinate amount of poise, and he gave us a tremendous outing today. We swung the bats with a lot of authority, and we earned a very important win. This is a tough place to play, and I'm extremely proud of this team for an outstanding effort all weekend. We've got a big week ahead with final exams, and then we'll begin to focus on Vanderbilt for next weekend."
Ole Miss starter Dylan Chavez (3-4) was charged with the loss as he surrendered three runs on four hits in three innings with one walk and one strikeout.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the second inning when Jones lined a two-run double off of Chavez with the bases loaded.
Ole Miss tied the game in the third on a two-run single by first baseman Matt Snyder, but LSU regained the lead in the top of the fourth with a five-run outburst.
Catcher Ty Ross opened the LSU fourth with a home run, his third of the year, to give the Tigers a 3-2 advantage. LSU expanded the lead to 7-2 as Austin Nola launched a three-run homer and Ross picked up his second RBI of the frame with a bases-loaded walk.
LSU posted another five-run rally in the sixth to increase the margin to 12-2. Katz unloaded a solo homer - his ninth of the year - to start the frame, Ross delivered a sacrifice fly and Jones launched a three-run homer, his third dinger of the year.
LSU 12, Ole Miss 3 (May 06, 2012 at Oxford, Miss.)
LSU................... 020 505 000 - 12 13 1 (38-11, 16-8 SEC)
Ole Miss............ 002 000 100 - 3 10 0 (31-18, 11-13 SEC)
Pitchers: LSU - Aaron Nola; Joey Bourgeois(8); Nick Goody(9) and Ty Ross.
Ole Miss - Dylan Chavez; Josh Laxer(4); Aaron Greenwood(4); Hawtin Buchanan(6); Casey Mulholland(8) and
Will Allen; Austin Knight.
Win-Aaron Nola(6-2) Loss-Dylan Chavez(3-4) T-2:53 A-7650
HR LSU - Austin Nola (4); Mason Katz (9); Ty Ross (3); JaCoby Jones (3).
HR OM - Auston Bousfield (2).
D. Chavez faced 1 batter in the 4th.