Golden Eagles force 1-game showdown with Rebels
OXFORD, Miss. (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi scored seven runs in the first inning Sunday night to erase a four-run deficit and reliever Tanner Hall turned in a career performance, shutting down the University of Mississippi over the final five innings of the Golden Eagles’ 10-7 in the championship round of the of the Oxford Regional.
The top two seeds in the regional will return to Swayze Field at noon Monday to see which will claim the regional crown and to the Super Regional round in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s baseball postseason.
Second seed USM (40-20), which had been in a must-win scenario after losing to Florida State University 5-2 in Friday’s opening round.
Since then, the Golden Eagles eliminated fourth seed Southeast Missouri State University (30-22) Saturday with a 21-0 win, knocked out third seed FSU (31-24) with a 7-4 come-from-behind victory Sunday afternoon and then turning around to beat the regional’s top seed and host.
Ole Miss (43-19) had taken a 4-0 lead in the opening inning, when USM starter Blake Wehunt couldn’t find the strike zone. Two runs scored on a bases-loaded hit batsman and a sacrifice fly by James McCants.
Hayden Dunhurst capped the inning with a two-run double off USM reliever Chandler Best.
But USM sent 12 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first, taking a 7-4 lead off Ole Miss starter Drew McDaniel (5-2).
Best (2-1) lasted just 1 2/3 innings, but Tyler Stuart gave USM two reasonable innings out of the bullpen, allowing two runs that allowed the Rebels to close to 9-7.
Hall followed and came up clutch for USM, going five scoreless innings. He allowed just one hit, walked none and struck out five.
USM center fielder Reed Trimble drove in four runs with a home run, single and hit-by-pitch. He was one of five Golden Eagles to collect two hits in USM’s 13-hit offense.
Monday’s finale originally was set for 6 p.m., but has been moved up to noon.
will be playing in a winner-take-all game to claim a NCAA Regional baseball title for a regional cham[pionship shook off a four-run first at-bat by the University of Mississippi
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