Ole Miss tops Oklahoma, 1 win from MCWS title

OMAHA, Neb. — Ole Miss, one of many final 4 groups invited to the NCAA baseball event, is now one win away from being the final crew standing.

Mississippi defeated Oklahoma 10-3 within the first contest of the best-of-three Males’s Faculty World Collection finals Saturday, powered to the victory by an unlikely arm: aid pitcher Jack Dougherty.

A sophomore out of Collierville, Tennessee, Dougherty was pressured into service as a starter as a result of the crew’s two aces had been used up in Mississippi’s march to this championship collection.

“Coach [Mike Bianco] grabbed me earlier than the sport and mentioned, ‘Simply be you,'” Dougherty mentioned after the sport. “‘Exit, assault along with your fastball, get forward in counts and simply pitch such as you pitch and you will be profitable.'”

The righty responded along with his longest outing of the season: 5 innings of good baseball earlier than leaving the mound within the sixth with a Four-1 lead and the bases loaded with no outs. His aid got here by means of freshman right-hander Mason Nichols, who struck out 5 of the seven batters he confronted in two innings of labor and surrendered just one run, charged to Dougherty.

“I believed that was actually the baseball sport there [in the sixth], to get off the sphere there with only a couple,” Bianco mentioned.

A trio Ole Miss pitchers — Dougherty, Nichols and sophomore Josh Mallitz — loved an early cushion, as their hitting teammates posted two runs within the high of the primary and added yet another every within the second and third innings. The final of these got here off the bat of fifth-year senior and rising Oxford, Mississippi, folks hero Tim Elko, who blasted his 24th homer of the season, the spotlight of a Four-for-5 night time on the plate, which was the primary four-hit outing for any MCWS batter since 2009.

When teammates T.J. McCants, Calvin Harris and Justin Bench blasted back-to-back-to-back homers within the high of the eighth — the primary crew to try this since LSU in 1998 — the rating was Eight-2 and the sport was primarily over.

Oklahoma squandered the chance of what seemed like an enormous on-paper mismatch, sending ace Jake Bennett to the mound with per week’s value of relaxation after having not pitched because the Sooners’ MCWS opening sport in opposition to Texas A&M on June 17.

Now, Ole Miss could have No. 2 starter Hunter Elliott and his good postseason file on the mound on 5 days’ relaxation Sunday afternoon with an opportunity to clinch the title. Ought to a Sport three change into mandatory Monday, the Rebels might presumably have ace Dylan DeLucia out there for no less than some work after his gutsy Thursday afternoon complete-game shutout that pushed Ole Miss into the finals.

The Rebels are one win away from not solely their first MCWS title but additionally the varsity’s second-ever NCAA-recognized nationwide championship in any crew sport. The ladies’s golf crew gained the college’s first title, just one 12 months in the past. The varsity does declare three nationwide titles in soccer from 1958 to 1960, however none of these was honored by The Related Press or coaches’ polls.

“We nonetheless have one other sport to win,” Elko mentioned. “It is clearly nice to win the primary one, however we nonetheless have yet another to take dwelling the entire thing. We’ll be rested up tomorrow, targeted up and able to win yet another.”

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