Ole Miss edges Miami to advance to regional championship game
Published 7:53 pm Sunday, June 5, 2022
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Tim Elko added one more highlight to an Ole Miss baseball career full of them.
The Rebels’ three-year captain hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh inning to bring in his team’s only runs, and they stood up as Ole Miss defeated Miami 2-1 in a winners’ bracket game Sunday at the NCAA Tournament’s Coral Gables Regional.
Ole Miss (34-22), which was the last team into the NCAA Tournament field, is now one win away from advancing to the super regional round for the third season in a row.
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Ole Miss will play Monday at noon against Arizona, which beat No. 6 national seed Miami 4-3 in an elimination game Sunday night. Arizona will need to beat Ole Miss twice to advance, while Ole Miss only needs to win once. If Ole Miss loses the first game, the second will be played immediately afterward.
Monday’s games will be streamed on ESPN+.
The winner of the Coral Gables Regional will play the winner of the Hattiesburg Regional — either Southern Miss or LSU — in the super regional round next weekend.
Both starting pitchers — Miami’s Carson Palmquist and Ole Miss’ Hunter Elliott — were superb on Sunday.
Palmquist had 10 strikeouts and allowed two hits in 5 1/3 shutout innings. Elliott went five-plus innings, had eight strikeouts, and allowed three hits.
Elliott allowed a walk and a single before exiting in the top of the sixth inning, which led to a sacrifice fly by Jacob Burke that brought in Miami’s run.
Ole Miss left the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, then broke through in the seventh. Back-to-back two-out singles by Justin Bench and Jacob Gonzalez brought Elko to the plate, and the slugging first baseman blasted a double to the gap in right center field.
Bench scored easily from second, Gonzalez came all the way around from first, and the Rebels had a 2-1 lead that their bullpen maintained until the end.
Mason Nichols and Brandon Johnson combined to allow one hit and no walks in four innings of scoreless relief. Each pitcher had three strikeouts. Johnson pitched the last 1 2/3 innings for his 11th save of the season.
In their first two games of the regional, Ole Miss pitchers have racked up 35 strikeouts.