#2 seed Southern Miss belted 6 home runs in a game for the 2nd time in the last 4 games, but it wasn’t enough to upend top seed Ole Miss, falling 12-9 in the NCAA Oxford Regional championship game Monday afternoon at Swayze Field.
The Golden Eagles, which registered a 40-win season for the fifth-straight full slate, completed its season at 40-21.
Ole Miss (44-20) scored 9 runs over the first 2 innings to capture the NCAA Oxford Regional as they got 2-run homers by Peyton Chatagnier and Justin Bench, their 5th and 7th respectively, and then Tim Elko extended that lead to 9-0 with a grand slam which followed Kevin Graham RBI single earlier in the frame.
Southern Miss cut into the lead in the 3rd. After a 2-out single by Montenegro for his Southern Miss best 21st-hit in NCAA tournament, Reed Trimble hit a 2-run homer to cut the gap to 9-2.
After Elko blasted another homer, his team-leading 17th which was a solo shot in the 4th to make the score 10-2, Southern Miss rallied for 5 runs in the 5th on 3 home runs. Blake Johnson opened the 5th with his 2nd homer of the regional and 3rd of the year, before Trimble and Reece Ewing each added 2-run shots of their own. It was the team-best 17th for Trimble and sixth for Ewing.
The Rebels completed their scoring in the bottom half of the frame on a 2-run homer by Calvin Harris, his second of 2021. The Golden Eagles closed the gap with two more runs in the 7th on back-to-back homers by Danny Lynch and Will McGillis – their 12th and 11th, respectively.
Despite giving up the homers to Lynch and McGillis, reliever Doug Nikhazy registered the victory for Southern Miss to up his record to 11-2. Southern Miss starter Ben Ethridge suffered the loss to fall to 6-2 as he gave up 4 runs on 4 hits over an inning of work.
Southern Miss head baseball coach Scott Berry along with Reed Trimble met with the media following the game. Video is courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics.