Photo courtesy Ole Miss Athletics
The University of Mississippi held off a pesky University of Southern Mississippi squad to win the Oxford Regional. In a winner take all final game of the regional, the Rebels held off the Golden Eagles to win 12-9.
It took some heroics from senior Tim Elko for the Rebels to advance. Elko has been limited to being a designated hitter since tearing his ACL on April 5. That hasn’t stopped him from having an impact on the field.
In the regional final, Elko went 3-for-3 at the plate with two home runs, five RBI and two walks. His first home run was a grand slam to put the Rebels up 9-0 in the second inning, and his second home was a single shot in the fourth inning.
Over the course of the regional, Elko went 4-for-13 with 10 RBI, six runs, four hits, six walks and three home runs. While not the greatest numbers, he has come up clutch when the Rebels needed him the most.
Elko was named to the All-Regional Team and named the Most Outstanding Player of the Regional. He enjoyed his third multi-home run game of the season and second multi-home run game since tearing his ACL.
The Lutz, Fla. native hit two grand slams that gives him three grand slams on the season. Elko was joined on the All-Regional team with teammates Jacob Gonzalez, Kevin Graham, Doug Nikhazy and Taylor Broadway.
Elko set or tied season highs with two home runs, five RBI, and three runs scored. This season Elko has played in 42 games with 36 starts with a .331 batting average, 45 hits, 44 RBI, 33 runs, 13 home runs and seven doubles. He has a .669 slugging percentage and .448 on base percentage.
The Rebels travel west as they face the University of Arizona in the Tucson Super Regional. The Wildcats are the No. 5 national seed and will host the No. 12 national seed Mississippi.
The Super Regional is a best of three format played over three days. The first team to win two games moves on to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
Game one will be on Friday, June 11, with the first pitch at 8 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU. Game two will start at 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 12, and televised on ESPN2. If necessary game three will be played on Sunday, June 13, at 8 p.m. and will be televised on either ESPN2 or ESPNU.