Lange’s complete game stifles Ole Miss in 6-3 LSU win
After hitting a small speed bump in the first inning, Alex Lange was dominant on Friday night, and the Ole Miss lineup couldn’t solve him. The sophomore left-hander tossed his second consecutive complete game, and unlike last week, this time it merited a win as #9 LSU evened the series with a 6-3 victory.
“He know’s he’s good. He pitches with a lot of confidence and I think they have a lot of confidence. We got some good swings off early, but no one got into the bullpen until the ninth inning,” Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. “It was a pretty good game for a while and they extended it a little later, but he was real good.”
After LSU plated a run in the first inning on a Jordan Romero sacrifice fly that plated leadoff man Antoine Duplantis, Ole Miss got to Lange early.
After retiring the first two batters of the game, Tate Blackman laced a triple to the right-center gap and then was followed up by a J.B. Woodman two-run shot to a similar spot, but over the wall, giving the Rebels a two run lead.
After that, the game belonged to Lange. He yielded just one more run, while scattering five hits as he went the distance to pick up his fourth win of the year.
“It’s one of those where a lot of power guys are like that. Once they start getting the feel, and not just their fastball but their breaking ball, you know they become tough,” Bianco said. “Certainly he is one of the best in the country and is starting to really pitch well. I know maybe wasn’t Lange-like early in the season, but certainly he has gotten it going.”
LSU quickly answered Woodman’s shot with a run in the second, and a Romero home run in the third that went well over the Ole Miss bullpen in left field gave the Tigers a 4-2 lead.
Parkinson was pulled for Connor Green in the fifth.
“I thought he didn’t have great command today, and made a couple of walks” Bianco said. “The walks didn’t kill him, but I thought what happened was that he pitched defensively. He wasn’t aggressive into the strike zone, and when you do that against a good offense it’s tough.”
Parkinson’s command created a lot of base runners for LSU, and it took advantage.
Ole Miss was able to bring one more run across in the fourth when Will Golsan slapped a single back towards Lange that found its way into center field, making it a one-run game.
If Lange needed a spark to reach the finish line, he got it in the top of the fifth. The inning culminated at home plate after Woodman hosed Romero at the plate for his 3rd assist of the weekend, and as Romero came to the plate, he delivered a shoulder to mask of Henri Lartigue, resulting in an ejection, and caused both benches cleared. Romero is ineligible for the rubber match tomorrow.
“That’s definitely baseball. When that happens most pitchers get after it, and I guess that helped their momentum, but that helps any team,” Tate Blackman said. “It goes both ways.”
Lange put up four scoreless frames after that.
LSU delivered its final blow in the sixth with two more runs off of Green, and it gave Lange all of the cushion he needed.
“When good pitchers figure it out, they make you pay for it,” Blackman said. “He came through all nine innings and pitched a heck of a game.”
The rubber game between these two teams is set for 11 a.m. Saturday morning.