The Rebels return to regional finals with a win over Clemson
OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi freshman Doug Nikhazy struck out nine pitching into the ninth inning, and the Rebels beat Clemson 6-1 on Saturday night to advance to the NCAA Tournament regional final on their home field.
Ole Miss led for good after Cole Zabowski and Cooper Johnson opened the second inning with back-to-back home runs off Mat Clark (9-3), who allowed four runs over 3 1/3 innings.
Kevin Graham added a pinch-hit homer leading off the eighth for the Rebels (39-25).
Nikhazy (8-3) had already thrown 111 pitches when he came out for the ninth with a chance for the first complete game this season by an Ole Miss pitcher. But the lefty issued his third walk before closer Parker Caracci got the last three outs.
After eight scoreless innings in a win over Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament, Nikhazy limited Clemson to four hits. The Tigers had consecutive hits to start the seventh, but their only run came on a double play grounder.
Clemson (35-25) plays Jacksonville State in an elimination game Sunday afternoon, with the winner facing Ole Miss that night.