Ole Miss and Team Captain Tim Elko: Unfinished Business
OXFORD, Miss. — It has been almost a full calendar year since the Ole Miss Rebels traveled to take on the Warhawks of the University of Louisiana Monroe who were 12-3 on their young season.
The Rebs entered Ouachita Parish looking to add two wins to their streak of 14, with their only loss coming at the hands of Louisville in the season-opening contest. Ole Miss, powered by Tyler Keenan, Anthony Servideo, and Tim Elko, marched into Monroe and defiled every piece of red-stitched ball their opponents threw at them, dominating both offensively and defensively as they defeated the Warhawks, 6-3 and 18-7.
As Elko and the Diamond Rebs collected their victory and started eying what would have been the first SEC weekend of 2020 versus LSU at Swayze Field, the whole world was forced to stop spinning.
The Ole Miss team Coach Mike Bianco had assembled to take to Omaha was disbanded and forced to return to their homes and socially distance themselves from contact until more was known about the Coronavirus.
Everything these young men had worked for was, for all intents and purposes, cancelled.
Now, in 2021, the Rebels find themselves, once again, facing ULM just prior to entering conference play.
Elko, after what may have appeared as a modest showing in the season-opening trip to Arlington for the College Baseball Showdown, began picking up a head of steam coming out of the University of Central Florida series the last weekend of February — a series that delivered the Rebs their only two losses in their last 30 games — and he just keeps getting better.
Before the largest crowd of the year to see a game in Swayze Field at 6,217, team captain Tim Elko looked to improve on his National Player of the Week honors, and he did not disappoint.
Elko, against mostly the same ULM team, stepped up to bat in the bottom of the 3rd inning with Peyton “Chatty” Chatagnier, Justin Bench, and Hayden Leatherwood on base and launched a bomb into right field. The grand slam was followed soon after by Kevin Graham (better known as KG) and Hayden Dunhurst who both had taters that ran the score up to 10-1, but there is more to come.
Can you smell what @TimElko is cooking?!
Smells like a second consecutive National Player of the Week nod to us.
— Ole Miss Baseball (@OleMissBSB) March 13, 2021
Elko and this Ole Miss team are poised and ready for what is theirs for the taking. Many teams lie ahead for the Rebels, and there is no resting for the remainder of the season. But from the glorious way these Rebs have handled the season-ending gut punch of 2020 to the miscues that caused them to drop a home series against UCF, this team is tried and true. They are fighting to bring the ultimate prize home from “Olemaha.”
Elko and the boys will continue this battle because only they know their true potential. They are not satisfied with wearing a badge that says No. 1 in the nation in some poll on it or from racking up personal accolades.
No, the Diamond Rebels have one goal in mind. All eyes are on one prize. Knowing exactly where Elko and company are coming from and where they’ve been, these Ole Miss Rebels will be satisfied with only one thing. They are going to take care of some unfinished business in 2021!
(Feature image credit: Bruce Newman. Ole MIss third baseman Tim Elko is greeted by his teammates after hitting one of this two home runs against Belmont at Oxford-University Stadium on Sunday, March 7, 2021. Elko was named the SEC Player of the Week and the National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball.