Ole Miss baseball evens series at LSU with 5-1 victory

Thomas Dillard and Kevin Graham both homered for the Rebels.

Posted: May 4, 2019 11:08 PM

BATON ROUGE, La. (Ole Miss Athletics/WTVA) - Outstanding performances by freshmen Doug Nikhazy and Kevin Graham led No. 13 Ole Miss to a 5-1 win over No. 9 LSU Saturday night, evening the series at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

Nikhazy turned in another terrific start, going 6.1 innings with just one run allowed on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk to earn his third straight win. On the offensive side, Graham's three-run home run in the fourth inning proved to be the difference in the Rebel victory.

Junior left fielder Thomas Dillard made the first etch onto the scoreboard with a solo home run to right center in the second inning. The first hit of the game for either team gave the Rebels a 1-0 lead.

Graham hit a nearly identical homer in the fourth. Ryan Olenek started the rally with a one-out base hit. Cooper Johnson then drew a two-out walk to bring Graham up with an opportunity to do damage. The freshman fell behind 0-2 but rocketed a three-run bomb over the right-center wall to make it a 4-0 Rebel advantage.

Nikhazy retired the first six batters he faced and kept the LSU offense quiet early. The Tigers threatened in the bottom half of the fourth, loading the bases with two outs, but Nikhazy worked his way out of it, getting Cade Beloso to fly out on a flare to Grae Kessinger in shallow left field.

Ole Miss tacked on one more run in the fifth. Anthony Servideo started the inning with a leadoff double. Kessinger then reached base for the 36th consecutive game on a hit-by-pitch, and Dillard moved the pair into scoring position on a groundout. It appeared as though LSU would escape the jam, but Olenek's two-out ground ball was misplayed by Josh Smith at short, allowing Servideo to come home for the Rebels' fifth run.

LSU got that run back in the bottom half on back-to-back two-out hits by Zach Watson and Antoine Duplantis, but that's all the home team managed on the night.

Nikhazy got back on track in the sixth, working a three-up, three-down frame, capped with his fourth strikeout of the night. The freshman got the first out in the seventh before allowing a double off the bat of Chris Reid.

Austin Miller relieved Nikhazy, and the junior right-hander used a flyout and a groundout to escape the jam unscathed. Miller then mowed down the Tigers in a one-two-three eighth inning to set up for closer Parker Caracci. The All-American struck out Drew Bianco and got Beloso to pop up for two quick outs. Reid made some noise with a two-out line drive to center, but Olenek was there for the diving catch to end the Rebel victory.

Ole Miss will go for its first series win at LSU since 1982 on Sunday. The Rebels and Tigers are set for a 2:30 p.m. CT first pitch on ESPN2.

Quick Hits
- Ole Miss improved to 31-17 overall and 14-9 in SEC play.
- Grae Kessinger was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning to extend his reached-base streak to 36 games. The Rebel shortstop had his nine-game hitting streak snapped.
- Thomas Dillard hit his 10th home run of the year, giving him double-digit home runs in consecutive seasons, as well as homers in consecutive series against LSU.
- Kevin Graham hit his sixth home run of the season.
- Doug Nikhazy went 6.1 innings with one run allowed on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk. It was Nikhazy's fourth start with one earned run or fewer allowed, all coming in SEC play.
- After a rough outing Friday night, Austin Miller turned in 1.2 scoreless and hitless innings, allowing just one baserunner on a walk.
- Parker Caracci pitched his second straight perfect ninth inning. His last two outings have been identical: 1.0 innings with no walks or hits allowed and one strikeout. Pitching with a four-run lead, Caracci was unable to pick up his ninth save of the season.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 250869

Reported Deaths: 5481
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16841171
Hinds15890312
Harrison13037191
Rankin10439205
Jackson10128177
Lee8721135
Madison8071160
Jones6166108
Forrest5870117
Lauderdale5724177
Lowndes5238109
Lafayette486192
Lamar475363
Washington4734122
Bolivar3941106
Oktibbeha388179
Panola360475
Pontotoc358752
Monroe3487103
Warren337895
Union337457
Marshall336065
Neshoba3325150
Pearl River319492
Leflore2980104
Lincoln293385
Sunflower277569
Tate266659
Alcorn260651
Itawamba258858
Pike258176
Hancock253557
Prentiss242450
Scott241043
Yazoo237754
Copiah237449
Tippah236246
Simpson232367
Leake227864
Coahoma223154
Grenada215770
Covington208871
Marion206171
Adams201666
Winston198061
George197438
Wayne196130
Attala191658
Newton186542
Chickasaw181243
Tishomingo179659
Holmes167867
Jasper165134
Clay156732
Stone140218
Tallahatchie138234
Clarke136460
Calhoun133321
Smith118823
Yalobusha113834
Walthall111136
Noxubee109622
Greene108929
Montgomery108134
Carroll103721
Lawrence101217
Perry99131
Amite96425
Webster90624
Claiborne85125
Tunica84521
Jefferson Davis83825
Humphreys81524
Benton80323
Kemper75720
Quitman6758
Franklin65315
Choctaw59613
Wilkinson58125
Jefferson53019
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1586
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 417528

Reported Deaths: 6030
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61313888
Mobile29768542
Madison26637185
Tuscaloosa20580268
Montgomery18696304
Shelby18310113
Baldwin16002179
Lee12261101
Morgan12093112
Etowah11604157
Calhoun10982200
Marshall10108107
Houston8474129
Cullman7960104
Limestone790174
Elmore7723101
DeKalb764697
St. Clair7460120
Lauderdale745183
Talladega6102108
Walker5852174
Jackson574441
Blount526483
Colbert525670
Autauga510355
Coffee434256
Dale391081
Franklin363445
Chilton333565
Covington326167
Russell323810
Escambia312442
Dallas300296
Clarke278233
Chambers277869
Tallapoosa2599107
Pike245829
Marion240549
Lawrence240447
Winston223835
Bibb213047
Geneva197431
Marengo197329
Pickens195231
Hale173742
Barbour171236
Butler167958
Fayette166026
Cherokee159630
Henry151119
Monroe144417
Randolph138535
Washington136526
Clay125246
Crenshaw118044
Lamar116619
Cleburne116023
Macon113335
Lowndes108735
Wilcox101221
Bullock98128
Perry95419
Conecuh92920
Sumter88726
Greene75323
Coosa60414
Choctaw51224
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