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2021 NCAA Baseball Tournament: Ole Miss topples SEMO in first game of Oxford Regional

Tim Elko, folks.

Josh McCoy-Ole Miss Athletics

A grand slam blast from Tim Elko highlighted the first win for the Ole Miss Rebels in the Oxford Regional of the NCAA Tournament.

Elko, who reportedly has one good ACL, went deep in the bottom of the third to give Ole Miss (41-19) a 4-0 lead, which would never be relinquished. The crowd at Swayze Field assuredly went wild with approval, and after several hundred days with no postseason baseball in Oxford, why not?

Stands were full for the Oxford Regional, expecting the No. 12 Rebels to blast the SEMO Redhawks and advance to the winners’ bracket on Saturday against Florida State. Ole Miss did not disappoint and were able to hold off a scrappy SEMO squad who threw its ace, Dylan Dodd, who went six innings, striking out seven, while allowing 10 hits and six earned runs.

Head coach Mike Bianco decided to go with the typical Saturday starter Derek Diamond who combined with Jack Dougherty for 7.1 IP and a few runs allowed. Closer Taylor Broadway came in to slam the door for his 14th save on the year, a single season record at Ole Miss.

The Rebels move on to face the Seminoles at 5pm CST on Saturday while SEMO will play the Mustard Buzzards of Southern Miss in the early game. It’s likely the most consistent Rebel starting pitcher and two-time All-American Doug Nikhazy will take the mound in a crucial game with the winner advancing to the championship final with a chance for a spot in a Super Regional.

If you’ve been following college baseball for awhile, none of this is new. It’s an exciting night to get a win after throwing your No. 2 starter and for now, Bianco’s plan to win this regional is working as expected.

Crack open a crispy boy, soak in the victory, and get ready for Saturday.