By Adam Brown
Ole Miss fell to the Southern Miss Golden Eagles 10-7 on Sunday night at Swayze Field.
Southern Miss got to the final after defeating Florida State 6-4 in the elimination game.
The Oxford Regional final had an offensive outburst in the first two innings by the Rebels and the Golden Eagles.
Ole Miss (43-20) scored four runs in the first after Southern Miss’s hurler Blake Wehunt loaded the bases after the first out. Justin Bench recorded his 27th hit by pitch of the season. TJ McCants brought in a run on a sac fly. The Rebels half of the frame was capped off by a double off the bat of Hayden Dunhurst.
“Tough start of the game for us,” head coach Mike Bianco said. “With the stadium rocking, I am proud of the way we competed.”
Southern Miss quickly attacked the Rebels starter Drew McDaniel with seven runs in the first after Gabe Montenegro and Reed Trimble each had two hits in the inning. Trimble had the first home run of the game. Montenegro with a double. The Golden Eagles took a 7-4 lead.
McDaniel tossed 0.2 of an inning, allowing seven runs on six hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Bianco brought in Tyler Myers in the first to close out the inning.
Myers settled down in the third, as he retired five straight sluggers until in the fourth. USM batter Reece Ewing delivered a double.
“Proud of the way Tyler competed,” Bianco said.
In the second, Peyton Chatagnier delivered a home run to left field.
USM answered with a double and a home run off the bats of Danny Lynch and Will McGillis, respectively.
Ole Miss plated two runs in the fourth, as Chatagnier walked to lead off the frame. The Rebels second baseman Jacob Gonzalez had a base rip to right. Tim Elko and Kevin Graham each drove Chatagnier and Gonzalez home. The Rebels made the score 9-7.
Myers worked a total of 5.0 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with six strikeouts on the evening.
Southern Miss tacked on a run in the seventh, as Trimble got on base by a hit of a pitch that scored the 10th run.
On the night, Bench got hit by a pitch a total of 29 times on the season. He finished the night going 1-for-2 at the dish. Bench had three hit-by-pitches with a run and an RBI.
Ole Miss and Southern Miss will meet on the diamond on Monday night in the Regional Championship game. The first pitch is set for 6 p.m.