By Adam Brown
The No. 12 Ole Miss Rebels take the diamond at the Hoover Met on Tuesday to open the 2021 SEC Baseball Tournament. Ole Miss will take on the Auburn Tigers in the last game of the evening on SEC Network.
Ole Miss comes into the conference tournament with a 38-17 record and an 18-12 mark in league play to get them as the fifth seed.
“We are definitely excited to be back in the postseason,” third baseman Justin Bench said. “We are back in the SEC Tournament. We have waited a long time for it, and we are ready to play tomorrow.”
The last time Ole Miss was in Hoover the Rebels made it to the SEC Championship game against the Vanderbilt Commodores back in 2019.
Ole Miss and Auburn will be meeting for the fourth time this season. The Rebels swept the Tigers back at the start of conference action.
“It was a good competitive series,” left fielder Kevin Graham said. “It’s a good way to start off SEC play. Looking forward to playing them again. It should be a fun game.”
Ole Miss will have junior southpaw Doug Nikhazy on the mound against Auburn on Tuesday.
“We talked to Doug to make sure that he felt like he could bounce back and throw on the first day,” head coach Mike Bianco said. “We have almost always (thrown our ace) on day one in the elimination game.”
Last weekend, the Rebels got their captain Tim Elko back in the everyday lineup as the DH after a torn ACL earlier in the season.
“It’s huge (to have him back),” Graham said. “He was on a crazy tear there before going down. He has been able to keep it up for the most part since coming back. It’s another bat in our lineup that makes us even more dangerous.”
Fans can still get tickets to watch the Rebels play in the SEC Tournament as a limited number will be made available at the gate for each session of the tournament at the Met. All tickets purchased online will be mobile tickets.
The Rebels and the Tigers will close out the opening day of the SEC Tournament on Tuesday. The first pitch is set for around 8 p.m. CT on SEC Network.