Ole Miss blanks USM 5-0, punches ticket to College World Series
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WLOX) - On Sunday, the Ole Miss Rebels officially punched their ticket to the College World Series with a 5-0 win over the Southern Miss Golden Eagles.
To start off the game, pitchers for both sides had their best stuff on display both teams went scoreless through four innings. Ole Miss pitcher Hunter Elliott (Tupelo) was especially dominant in his showing, holding USM scoreless through 7 innings on his way to earning his fourth win on the season.
The Rebels would blow things open in the bottom of the fifth when singles by Jacob Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) and Kevin Graham (O’Fallon, Mo.) brought 3 runners across home plate. Despite a Southern Miss pitching change and a web gem from Golden Eagle shortstop Dustin Dickerson (Laurel), the Ole Miss offense would pick up where it left off in the sixth as a Justin Bench (Redington Beach, Fla.) RBI single tacked on another insurance run. Outfielder TJ McCants (Cantonment, Fla.) later peppered a solo shot over the right field wall in the bottom of the eighth.
Ole Miss’ Elliott picks up his fourth win of the season as a result of allowing just three hits during his tenure on the mound. Leadoff man Bench led the offense with 3 hits in 4 at-bats with an RBI and a double. Pitcher Josh Malitz (Tampa, Fla.) would relieve Elliott in the bottom of the eighth to pitch the rest of the way to secure the shutout.
USM pitcher and C-USA Player of the Year Tanner Hall (Zachary, La.) is handed just his third loss of the season after hurling 5 1/3 innings while allowing 8 hits and striking out 6. Hits from Slade Wilks (Columbia) and Gabe Montenegro (Guatemala City, Guatemala) followed by a Reece Ewing (Mobile, Ala.) walk loaded the bases for the Golden Eagles in the top of the eighth, but their efforts proved to be in vain.
With the win, Ole Miss clinches their sixth College World Series berth in program history. They will join the likes of Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Oklahoma in Omaha, Nebraska.
As for Southern Miss, their season comes to a close. They finish with an overall record of 47-19.
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