Ole Miss baseball wins NCAA Oxford Regional
Rebels Book Ticket to Tucson Super Regional with 12-9 Win Over Southern Miss
OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss baseball is Super Regional bound. It took a complete team effort, including heroics from Tim Elko, Taylor Broadway and even Doug Nikhazy, but the Rebels fought off a tremendous Southern Miss rally and captured the NCAA Oxford Regional title with a 12-9 victory.
Ole Miss used six pitchers, including its top two arms to close it out. Jack Dougherty turned in a solid start, allowing two runs in four innings against a Golden Eagle offense that scored 47 runs in five games in Oxford. Nikhazy came on in relief for the first time since his freshman season and earned his 11th win of the season. Broadway then slammed the door shut with two scoreless innings to earn his 16th save of the year.
Offensively, Elko led the way, going 3-for-3 with three runs scored, five RBI and two home runs, including his third grand slam of the season. Peyton Chatagnier, Kevin Graham and Justin Bench all had multi-hit days, including home runs from Chatagnier and Bench, while Calvin Harris added Ole Miss’ fifth home run.
Just like Sunday night, Ole Miss jumped on the board early with a four-spot in the first inning. Jacob Gonzalez opened things up with a double, followed by a two-run shot from Peyton Chatagnier. Tim Elko reached on a pop-up that the Southern Miss defense lost in the sun, setting the table for a two-run Justin Bench home run to make it 4-0, Rebels.
A 30-minute lightning delay pressed pause on the bottom of the second inning, but it did nothing to slow the Rebel offense. Ole Miss loaded the bases on three walks and brought one home on a line drive to left center by Kevin Graham. Elko did the rest, smashing his second grand slam of the NCAA Oxford Regional to left center to make it a 9-0 ballgame.
Southern Miss got two of those runs back, also via the longball, in the third. Dougherty worked the USM order the first time through with just one baserunner allowed, but the top of the order did damage the second time around. Gabe Montenegro singled and Reed Trimble homered to cut it to 9-2.
Dougherty rebounded with a smooth fourth inning, allowing just one baserunner along the way to set up more Elko magic. The senior captain lifted his second home run of the day over the left field wall to make hit 10-2.
Ole Miss went to the bullpen in the fifth, opening the door for a Golden Eagle rally. Southern Miss homered three times in the inning, twice off Cody Adcock and once off Jackson Kimbrell to make it just a three-run game, 10-7.
It was no matter for the Ole Miss offense, however, as Calvin Harris launched a two-run home run to stretch the gap back to five.
Derek Diamond, who started Friday’s win over Southeast Missouri, entered in relief in the sixth and quickly retired two Southern Miss batters before allowing a double and walking two to load the bases. In a pinch, Mike Bianco turned to ace Doug Nikhazy, and the two-time All-American came through with a three-pitch strikeout to strand three Golden Eagles.
Even Nikhazy couldn’t keep the USM bats at bay for long as the Golden Eagles tagged the lefty for two solo home runs in the seventh to make it just a three-run game, 12-9. The First Team All-SEC pitcher bounced back with a strikeout to end the inning.
From there, it was the Taylor Broadway show. The Rebel closer allowed just one hit over the final two innings and struck out three, including a game-ending K to send Ole Miss on to the Super Regionals for the second consecutive season.
The Rebels will now hit the road for the NCAA Tucson Super Regional, where they’ll take on the No. 5 national seed Arizona. Selection of the eight super regional hosts will be announced on www.NCAA.com/cws, Tuesday, June 8 at approximately 7 a.m. (CT). All eight super regional hosts will be selected from the 16 regional hosts.
C – Blake Johnson, USM
1B – Christopher Sargent, USM
2B – Will McGillis, USM
3B – Danny Lynch, USM
SS – Jacob Gonzalez, Ole Miss
OF – Kevin Graham, Ole Miss
OF – Gabe Montenegro, USM
OF – Reed Trimble, USM
DH – Tim Elko, Ole Miss
P – Doug Nikhazy, Ole Miss
P – Taylor Broadway, Ole Miss
Most Outstanding Player – Tim Elko, Ole Miss
– Ole Miss improved to 44-20 on the season, tying for the fourth-most wins in program history.
– Ole Miss improved to 61-51 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
– Ole Miss improved to 79-52 all-time against Southern Miss.
– Ole Miss will make its seventh total and second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Super Regionals.
– Kevin Graham extended his reached-base streak to 57 games, the longest in the nation this year, surpassing ECU’s Connor Norby (56). He has reached safely in 62 of 64 games this season.
– Jack Dougherty tossed a career-long 4.0 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and one walk. He struck out four, his eighth outing this season with three or more strikeouts.
– Tim Elko notched his third multi-home run game of the season and his second since suffering a torn ACL on April 5.
– Tim Elko hit his third grand slam of the season and his second of the NCAA Oxford Regional.
– Ole Miss scored in double figures for the 17th time this season and notched double-digit hits for the 34th time.
– Doug Nikhazy earned his 11th win of the season and moved to sole possession of fourth place on the Rebels’ single-season strikeouts chart with 132 on the year.
– Taylor Broadway earned his 16th save of the season, three more than any other player in program history.
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