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USM falls to Ole Miss in Oxford Regional finale, 12-9

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 7:28 PM CDT
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OXFORD, Miss. (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi simply could not overcome a large, early deficit for a second consecutive day at the Oxford Regional.

Top seed University of Mississippi grabbed a 9-0 lead after two innings and then managed to hold off the second-seeded Golden Eagles to claim the regional crown with a 12-9 win in a winner-take-all finale Monday afternoon at Swayze Field.

The Rebels (44-20) will travel to the University of Arizona in the Super Regional round next weekend.

USM which won three consecutive regional games to force Monday’s showdown, ended its season at 40-21.

Ole Miss second baseman Peyton Chatagnier and outfielder Jacob Bench each hit a two-run home run in the first inning, and designated hitter Tim Elko keyed the Rebels’ five-run second inning when he hit his second grand slam of the regional.

Elko, who added a solo homer in the fourth inning and finished with three hits and five RBIs Monday, was voted the region’s Most Outstanding Player.

Despite the deficit, the Golden Eagles refused to roll over. USM ripped six Ole Miss pitchers for 11 hits, including six home runs, as both coaching staffs had to piece together their staffs for the final game.

USM used five pitchers, and the first three, Ben Ethridge (6-2), Garrett Ramsey and Justin Storm, combined to give up nine runs in two innings.

Hunter Stanley, who started USM’s first regional game Friday,allowed three runs on a pair of home runs over three innings, while Walker Powell, who pitched Saturday, threw two scoreless innings.

Doug Nikhazy (11-2) picked up the pitching win, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out two over 1 1/3 innings. Taylor Broadway allowed just a hit in two scoreless innings to close the game and pick up his 16th save of the season.

USM outfielder Reed Trimble smacked a pair of home runs and drove in four runs with three hits Monday, giving him 16 RBIs in five regional games.

Trimble was one of six Golden Eagles named to the All-Region team, joined by catcher Blake Johnson, first baseman Christopher Sargent, second baseman Will McGillis, third baseman Danny Lynch and fellow outfielder Gabe Montenegro.

Elko, Nikhazy, Broadway, shortstop Jacob Gonzalez and,outfielder Kevin Graham represented Ole Miss on the All-Region team.

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