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Behind Tim Elko’s record-setting game, Ole Miss wins Coral Gables Regional with 22-6 hammering of Arizona

Behind Tim Elko’s record-setting game, Ole Miss wins Coral Gables Regional with 22-6 hammering of Arizona

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – In a rematch of game two of the Coral Gables Regional, Ole Miss (2-0) faced Arizona (2-1), yet again. The result was the same — only by a much larger margin — as the Rebels defeated the Wildcats, 22-6, to win the Coral Gables Regional.

Dating back to 2021, this was the fifth time the Rebels and Wildcats met in the postseason. By this point in the regional, it’s been well chronicled that Ole Miss at 34-22 overall was the “last team in,” while Arizona (39-24) finished fifth in the PAC-12. 

After falling to the Rebels, 7-4, on Saturday, Arizona had to advance through the losers bracket to face Ole Miss in the Regional Championship game Sunday.

The Wildcats came back Sunday morning to emerge from the losers bracket after bouncing both Canisius and Miami. The Rebs had sent the Hurricanes to the losers bracket following a 2-1 win Sunday afternoon.

Runs Aplenty

Early on, it set up like a typical championship game with hitters on both teams getting the best of pitchers. Ole Miss put runs on the scoreboard immediately in the first with a Tim Elko two-run home run.  It would not be his last. 

Arizona answered with a home run off the bat of Tanner O’Tremba, and the home run derby was on. 

Second baseman Peyton Chatagnier crushed a two-run home run to left in the second inning to put the Rebels ahead again.

Arizona would get a run back in the bottom of the third inning, only to soon see a familiar slugger launch a record-breaking solo shot to take the run back. 

The Wildcats didn’t give up. In the fourth, they tied the score at 5-5 with a two-run home run of their own. At the end of four, each team had notched three homers with all the runs being scored via the long ball.

Unfortunately for Arizona, the extra game they played seemed to catch up to them in the fifth inning. A Kevin Graham bases-loaded, infield single gave way to sophomore Kemp Alderman. 

Alderman, the designated hitter, showed his power, proving what “farm-boy strong” really means. The grand slam was all the Rebels would need, but they weren’t done yet.

Sixth-inning onslaught

The floodgates really opened in the sixth inning when the Rebels plated eight. Elko walked to score Garrett Wood, who was making his first start of the season. Graham then singled and scored Justin Bench. 

Jacob Gonzalez scored via wild pitch, while Chatagnier doubled which allowed Elko and Graham to score. Hayden Dunhurst and Chatagnier then scored when Calvin Harris doubled to left center, turning over the lineup. Harris would score off the bat of a Bench double.

More Fireworks

In the seventh inning, Elko belted his third home run of the game and 22nd of the season. This was a record-setting performance for the three-year captain as he broke the single-season home run record at Ole Miss.

For his performance, Elko would garner Regional Most Outstanding Player for the second straight year. The always-humble senior talked after the game about his performance. 

I was just trying to put good swings on good pitches this weekend, and it was working well for me…It’s a lot easier to play well when you have really good players behind you….This is no surprise to us . . . we never doubted ourselves, never pointed fingers . . . just really proud of how we played.

Ole Miss captain Tim Elko

In the ninth inning, Elko scored again on an Alderman single. Graham was plated on a Dunhurst single, and Chatagnier continued with his hot bat as he doubled to score Graham and Alderman, giving Ole Miss the 22-6 lead, which would be the final score. 

The 22 total runs are a postseason record for Ole Miss.

On the mound

Ole Miss used a number of pitchers in the Regional Championship. Starter Derek Diamond went 3 2/3, leaving the game tied at 5-5.

Jack Dougherty took over for Diamond, traveling 2 1/3 innings and allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out four. Dougherty earned the win for the Rebels and improved to 3-3 this season.

John Gaddis threw the seventh and eighth innings, also striking out four.  Jack Washburn came in and shut down the Wildcats in the ninth, facing the minimum.

 

All-Regional Team

Five Rebels garnered All-Regional Team honors:  First baseman Tim Elko, second baseman Peyton Chatagnier, shortstop Jacob Gonzalez, starting pitcher Hunter Elliott, and closer Brandon Johnson. As mentioned above, Elko was named Tournament MVP.

Next Up for Ole Miss:

The Rebels are Super Regional bound! Southern Miss won its regional in game seven Monday over LSU and will host Ole Miss this weekend in the “Battle for Mississippi.”

Hotty Toddy! See you in Hattiesburg!

(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss)

Chris Muller

Chris Muller

Chris is our Director of Baseball Content and Senior Baseball Writer. Muller is a 1995 Graduate of Ole Miss. He is a collegiate recreational sports professional currently residing in Arlington Texas with his wife of 25 years, Amber, and German Shorthaired Pointer, Sophie. Chris is an avid Ole Miss Baseball and Football fan. His hobbies include watching college football and baseball and playing poker with his friends.

About The Author

Chris Muller

Chris is our Director of Baseball Content and Senior Baseball Writer. Muller is a 1995 Graduate of Ole Miss. He is a collegiate recreational sports professional currently residing in Arlington Texas with his wife of 25 years, Amber, and German Shorthaired Pointer, Sophie. Chris is an avid Ole Miss Baseball and Football fan. His hobbies include watching college football and baseball and playing poker with his friends.

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