LAFAYETTE, La. – Ole Miss got a brilliant performance from starting pitcher Christian Trent and the offense came through with enough timely hitting to defeat Louisiana 5-2 and force an elimination game on Monday. The southpaw allowed an unearned run over seven innings of work on four hits and two walks while striking out seven Cajuns.
The pitcher’s duel that was expected on Saturday night showed up on Sunday as Louisiana’s stater Carson Baranik was equal to the task allowing three earned runs over seven innings before leaving after surrendering a lead-off single in the eighth.
The Rebels made the Ragin’ Cajuns pay for a two-out first inning walk issued to Austin Anderson as catcher Will Allen stroked a double deep to right field that allowed Anderson to score the game’s first run and take a 1-0 lead.
Trent rolled into the fifth inning having not allowed more than one Cajuns baserunner in an inning until center fielder Seth Harrison reached on an error by Preston Overbey at second. Dylan Butler drove a double into the corner in left field that was fielded immediately off the wall by Rebels’ left fielder Braxton Lee. Short stop Errol Robinson fired the relay in time to home plate but the ball was knocked out of Allen’s mitt by Harrison’s slide as the Cajuns tied the game at 1-1.
In the seventh, Baranik would hang a curve ball on the inner half of the plate and Overbey deposited it over the wall in left with a massive homer to retake the lead for the Rebels.
The Cajuns would immediately get the run back in the eighth as short stop Blake Trahan got his third hit of the game with a single to right that scored Michael Strentz to knot the game again at 2-2.
Ole Miss would break open the game in the eighth against Cajuns’ reliever Ryan Wilson when Seth Harrison dropped a fly ball in deep center field off the bat of Allen that allowed Auston Bousfield and Austin Anderson to score to take the 4-2 lead. Sikes Orvis and Clay Bortles hit back-to-back singles to score Allen to extend the lead to 5-2.
Aaron Greenwood came on for the ninth in his second inning of relief and after allowing Caleb Adams to hit a double to the wall in right field Greenwood retired the next three hitters to end the game. These two teams face off in a deciding game three on Monday night.