LAFAYETTE, La. – Louisiana junior designated hitter Tyler Girouard hit a three-run homer and scored three times to lead the Cajuns offense to a 9-5 comeback win over Ole Miss. The Rebels took an early 3-0 lead over Louisiana but a five-run, third-inning rally by Louisiana took the lead for good as they took game one of the Lafayette Super Regional on Saturday.
Ole Miss jumped on Louisiana starting pitcher Austin Robichaux early as junior Sikes Orvis led off the second inning with a double to the gap that rolled to the wall in left. With two runners on an one out, senior Preston Overbey singled to left scoring Orvis for a 1-0 lead. Freshman Errol Robinson followed with a single to right that scored Colby Bortles and Overbey to give the Rebels a 3-0 lead with runners on first and third.
However, Robichaux would hold his ground striking out senior third baseman Austin Anderson to stop the Rebels’ rally and end the inning. The Cajuns’ righty would settle in and pitch effectively, limiting the Rebels to two more runs before leaving after seven innings of work with four strike outs.
Ole Miss ace Chris Ellis would not survive the Cajuns’ onslaught as Louisiana unleashed a multi-faceted attack that would erase the deficit and take the lead for good by the third inning.
Girouard drew a walk to lead off the second and advanced to second on a sacrifice by junior Caleb Adams and would score when center fielder Auston Bousfield dropped a fly ball off the bat of Cajuns’ junior Seth Harrison to cut the lead to 3-1.
Ellis loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a hit batsman to open the Cajuns’ third inning and Blake Trahan got the RBI groundout that scored catcher Michael Strentz to cut the lead to 3-2. Girouard stepped in with one out and two runners in scoring position and would blast a three-run homer over the wall in right to take the lead for Louisiana at 5-3 and chase the Rebels’ ace from the ballgame.
Ole Miss turned to southpaw Jeremy Massie and he struck out Adams but would allow back-to-back singles to Chase Compton and Harrison and would allow Compton to score on a controversial late balk call to extend the lead to 6-3. Dylan Butler had apparently grounded out to third to end the inning when the first base umpire ruled that instead Massie had balked and awarded Harrison second and Compton home. Massie would strike out Butler to end the inning.
The Rebels would get a run back as Robinson worked a two-out walk before scoring on a Braxton Lee triple to cut the lead to 6-4. However, Girouard would start another Louisiana rally with a fifth-inning single to right field followed by an Adams push bunt for a single to put two aboard.
After Compton sacrificed them both into scoring position, they each moved up a base on a Massie wild pitch to push the lead back to three. Harrison drove in Adams with a groundout and then Butler smacked a solo homer over the wall in left to extend the lead to 9-4.
Ole Miss would pull within 9-5 as catcher Will Allen singled home Bousfield in the seventh and nearly pulled to within two runs as Orvis launched Robichaux’s last delivery of the game deep but a leaping catch on the wall in left by Adams ended the inning.
Matt Plitt came on for the Cajuns in the eighth and pitched two scoreless innings, getting a game-ending double play in the ninth to grab a 1-0 Super Regional series lead for Louisiana.