HAMMOND, La. – The Southeastern Louisiana University baseball team shut down No. 1-ranked Ole Miss, 5-1, Tuesday in non-conference action at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.
It marked the third time this season Southeastern (8-9) has defeated a ranked team and the victory over Ole Miss (13-3) is the squad's second in as many weeks over an SEC team ranked in the Top 5 nationally.
A pitchers' duel until late, the Rebels struck first.
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SLU starting pitcher Adam Guth issued a two-out walk to Ole Miss right fielder TJ McCants in the second inning, making McCants the first hitter to reach base off the left-hander. Kemp Alderman followed with a double into the left-center field gap, scoring McCants from first base.
The Lions responded in the bottom of the inning, tying up the score on a solo home run by Tyler Finke. The solo blast to left was the first of the season for the senior center field.
Guth, a freshman from Lake Charles, Louisiana, retired the side in order in the third and Southeastern responded with a run to take the lead in the bottom of the inning.
Third baseman Shea Thomas, a junior from Olympia, Washington, led off the inning with a single up the middle. An errant pickoff throw from Rebel starting pitcher Jack Washburn allowed Thomas to advance to second. With one out, Rhett Rosevear drew a walk. Washburn uncorked a pair of wild pitches while issuing another walk, the final one allowing Thomas to score the eventual winning run.
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Still a one-run game in the sixth, Guth issued back-to-back walks Ole Miss' three and four-hole hitters to open up the frame. Southeastern brought in reliever Andrew Landry to quell the rally. The sophomore right-hander from Slidell, Louisiana induced a double-play grounder and then got a flyout to work out of the jam without allowing a run.
Southeastern tacked on a pair of runs in the seventh.
Thomas led off the inning with his third hit of the night, advancing to second on Jake Johnson's bunt single. A balk put both runners in scoring position with no outs. A pair of ground balls, leading to an error and a fielder's choice, brought home Thomas and Johnson as the Lions went up, 4-1, over the nation's top-ranked team.
SLU added an insurance run in the eighth. Preston Faulkner led off the inning with a massive blast to deep left-center. The solo shot was his team-leading second home run of the season.
Landry combined with Gage Trahan, a graduate student from Maurice, Louisiana, to close out the game with four shutout innings. The duo retired all 11 batters they faced, striking out four.
Guth (1-0) earned the first win of his collegiate career, allowing one run in five innings pitched. He surrendered three hits and five walks, striking out three. Washburn (2-1) suffered the loss, allowing two runs – one earned – in five innings of work.
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Finke (3-for-4) and Thomas (3-for-4) both turned in multi-hit performances for the Lions.
The win is the first for Southeastern over a top-ranked team in more than two decades and it snaps an 11-game skid in the all-time series against the Rebels.