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Rapid Reaction: LSU 12, Ole Miss 3

5/7/2012

No. 4 LSU wrapped up its sixth SEC series victory of the season Sunday afternoon, as the Tigers (38-11, 16-8) defeated No. 25 Ole Miss, 12-3, to take two of three games.

Overview: LSU bounced back from its Saturday loss to the Rebels (31-18, 11-13) in impressive fashion. The Tigers mustered just four runs on seven hits in the game two loss, but they reversed those results without much hesitation on Sunday.

LSU nearly doubled its production in both categories with 12 runs on 13 hits, starting in the second inning when JaCoby Jones hit a two-out double with the bases loaded to take a 2-0 lead.

The rest of the damage came in a pair of five-run innings that buried the Rebels. In the fourth inning the Tigers knocked in the first five runs on four hits, starting with a one-run homer by Ty Ross. A pair of base hits from Jones and Arby Fields brought Austin Nola to the plate with runners on first and second, and Nola delivered with his fourth home run of the season.

The Rebels got to starter Aaron Nola (6-2) early on, but the freshman settled down in an impressive performance. He gave up two runs in the third inning and another in the seventh, but he managed seven innings while allowing seven hits, and he only allowed Rebels base runners to reach second base in two frames.

Turning point: The Tigers' second five-run effort in the sixth inning pretty much sealed the deal. Once again the inning opened with a solo shot, this one coming from Mason Katz. But Jones showed up again to deliver three more RBI -- these coming in the form of a three-run homer of his own.

The bomb put LSU up, 12-2, and removed all doubt of the result.

Key player: Just like LSU coach Paul Mainieri drew it up, Jones responded in a big way to his bump to the bottom of the lineup. The second baseman went 3-for-5 with five RBI and two runs scored on Sunday. He had another two knocks and two RBI on Saturday after going hitless in Friday's extra innings win.

Key stat: Eight different LSU starters managed a hit in Sunday's demolition of the Rebels.

Miscellaneous: The race for the overall SEC lead took a turn during the weekend. LSU and South Carolina each won their weekend series, after the Gamecocks took two of three against Arkansas. Season-long leader Kentucky dropped two games to Florida, which dropped the Wildcats into third place. With the Gamecocks taking care of Arkansas, LSU is now four games up on the SEC West's second place squad.