By Adam Brown
No. 3 Ole Miss steps back into conference action this weekend as they play host to the No. 2 Arkansas Razorbacks at Swayze Field.
This is the first meeting between the two clubs since the 2019 Fayetteville Super Regional as the Razorbacks took 2-of-3 to advance to the College World Series in Omaha. Both teams are 7-2 in conference play and tied for first place in the SEC West division.
Ole Miss (23-6) suffered an injury to its captain, Tim Elko, against North Alabama in the 20-6 victory on Monday night. Elko went down in the fourth inning with a torn ACL after trying to round first base.
“Elko will start some rehab for two to four weeks,” head coach Mike Bianco said. “The first thing is to get him pain free, walk around and go from there.”
This season, Elko has dominated at the plate batting .340 on the season with nine home runs and 36 RBI. The nine home runs are second in the SEC to South Carolina’s Wes Clarke.
At the end of March, Elko was named the National Hitter of the Month by the National College Baseball Writers Association.
The Rebels are going to be without Elko in the line for at least a few series. The team will continue to play with the next man up.
“We are all disappointed for Tim,” Bianco said. “We have had other issues this year, when Chatagnier went down and McCants stepped up, Cioffi went down and Broadway stepped into that role.”
In Bianco’s 30 years of coaching, he has not had a player tear an ACL until Elko.
The first pitch of the Arkansas game is set for Friday at 6 p.m. on SEC Network.