Ole Miss survives slugfest vs. Southern Miss thanks to 2 Tim Elko homers
After a 4-run first inning and a 5-run second inning, it looked like Ole Miss was going to cruise to an easy win over Southern Miss in Oxford on Monday afternoon to advance to the super-regional round of the NCAA Tournament.
But, the Golden Eagles didn’t give up. Through 5 innings, they’d cut the Rebels’ lead to 12-7. Then, to 12-9 heading into the ninth inning.
However, the Rebels’ pitching held up in the end and Ole Miss advanced with a 12-9 victory over their in-state foe.
Ole Miss DH Tim Elko was the star of the game. Playing with a torn ACL, he launched a grand slam (his second of the tournament) in the bottom of the second inning:
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 7, 2021
Then, in the bottom of the fourth inning, Elko went yard again:
You cannot be serious. 😧
TIM ELKO. ANOTHER HOME RUN.
— Ole Miss Baseball (@OleMissBSB) June 7, 2021
In Elko’s next at-bat, the Southern Miss pitcher (wisely) issued him an intentional pass to first base. The Golden Eagles intentionally walked Elko again in the bottom of the eighth inning.
He’s been on fire in this tournament thus far, and since tearing his ACL, in general:
Tim Elko since tearing his ACL:
🔵 .302 bat avg
🔴 7 HR
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) June 7, 2021
Ole Miss ace Doug Nikhazy came in to close out the sixth inning, getting the Rebels out of a jam:
The Legend of Doug Nikhazy. pic.twitter.com/HWxGk5IEkD
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 7, 2021
He gave up back-to-back home runs in the seventh, but managed to close out the frame with no additional damage done.
Then, the Rebels turned things over to SEC saves leader Taylor Broadway. After a flawless eighth inning, Broadway came back out for the ninth inning and closed out the game to send the Rebels to the super regionals.
Now, they’ll head to Tucson to take on No. 5 seed Arizona in the super regionals. We’ll see if Elko, Nikhazy and Broadway can keep the magic going and lead the Rebels to the College World Series.