OXFORD, Miss. - Leftfielder Tanner Mathis collected three hits and two RBI Saturday, and No. 24 Ole Miss erased a 4-1 fourth-inning deficit en route to a 7-4 win over fourth-ranked LSU at Swayze Field.
The weekend series is tied at one game apiece and concludes with Game 3 at 1:30 p.m. CT Sunday. Freshman right-hander Aaron Nola will start on the mound for LSU while Ole Miss will counter with junior left-hander Dylan Chavez.
LSU dropped to 37-11 overall and 15-8 in the SEC, and the Tigers remain tied with South Carolina for first place in the overall league standings. LSU holds a three-game lead over Arkansas and Mississippi State in the SEC Western Division race.
Ole Miss improved to 31-17 overall and 11-12 in conference play.
"It's frustrating because we had a four-run inning that gave us a lead, and we couldn't score again," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "We couldn't generate a consistent effort at the plate, and we had a difficult time staying away from the double play. It's a tough loss, but it doesn't diminish our chances of coming back and trying to win this series tomorrow."
The Rebels led 1-0 in the bottom of the first when Mathis singled, moved to second on a Ryan Eades wild pitch, was sacrificed to third by third baseman Andrew Mistone and scored on second baseman Alex Yarbrough's groundout.
LSU struck for four runs in the top of the fourth to take a 4-1 lead. First baseman Tyler Moore delivered an RBI single, designated hitter Grant Dozar bunted home a run on a squeeze play and second baseman JaCoby Jones lined a two-run single as the Tigers sent nine men to the plate in the inning.
Ole Miss, however, responded with three runs in the bottom of the fourth to knot the game. Designated hitter Zach Kirksey launched a solo homer, his 12th dinger of the year, before Mathis and Mistone contributed RBI singles against Eades.
Eades worked four innings and was charged with four runs on eight hits with one walk and one strikeout.
The Rebels took a 5-4 lead in the sixth when rightfielder Will Jamison doubled against LSU reliever Kurt McCune and scored on a Mathis single.
Ole Miss extended the lead to 7-4 in the seventh when catcher Will Allen walked and centerfielder Auston Bousfield unloaded his first homer of the season against LSU reliever Kevin Berry.
Ole Miss reliever Tanner Bailey (2-1), the second of four Ole Miss pitchers, earned the win as he fired two scoreless innings, allowing two hits with two strikeouts.
Bailey combined with Chris Ellis and Brett Huber to blank LSU over the final five innings of the contest. Huber picked up his eighth save, allowing no runs on one hit in two innings with one walk and two strikeouts.
McCune (2-4) was charged with the loss as he surrendered one run on three hits in 1.2 innings with one walk and no strikeouts.
Ole Miss starter Mike Mayers pitched four innings and gave up four runs on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Ole Miss 7, LSU 4 (May 05, 2012 at Oxford, Miss.)
LSU.................... 000 400 000 - 4 7 1 (37-11, 15-8 SEC)
Ole Miss............ 100 301 20X - 7 12 0 (31-17, 11-12 SEC)
Pitchers: LSU - Ryan Eades; Kurt McCune(5); Brent Bonvillain(6); Kevin Berry(7); Joe Broussard(7) and Ty Ross.
Ole Miss - Mike Mayers; Tanner Bailey(5); Chris Ellis(7); Brett Huber(8) and Will Allen; Austin Knight.
Win-Tanner Bailey(2-1) Save-Brett Huber(8) Loss-Kurt McCune(2-4) T-2:57 A-9040
HR OM - Zach Kirksey (12); Auston Bousfield (1).
M. Mayers faced 1 batter in the 5th.
Bonvillain faced 1 batter in the 7th.