OXFORD, Miss. – Junior right-hander Chris Ellis threw a complete game and the Rebels pounded out 17 hits as No. 12 Ole Miss (42-18) defeated Jacksonville State (36-26) by a score of 12-2 to advance at the NCAA Oxford Regional Saturday night.
With the win, the Rebels will face the second-seeded and 14th-ranked Washington Huskies at 3 p.m. tomorrow to play for the right to the championship game of the regional.
Ellis (10-1) picked up the win as he threw his second complete game of the season. The right-hander allowed two runs on eight hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.
Zachary Fowler (7-8) suffered the loss as he allowed five runs on four hits with two walks 0.2 innings of work for the Gamecocks.
Sikes Orvis paced the offense with a 3-for-4 night that included two runs scored and a career-high five RBI.
“We played very well tonight,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “I’m really proud of the way we came out; it was very business-like. One of the goals was to be locked in to this moment and play this game. Chris (Ellis) was terrific. A complete game was something we needed with the shortened regional to try to save the bullpen. One of the keys when you play at home is score early and get the crowd into it. We had a big first inning with several key at bats, none bigger than Sikes (Orvis)’s big double that ignited us as a team and got the crowd into it.”
Jacksonville State got on the board in the top of the first when Eddie Mora crossed the plate on a single from Paschal Petrangolo. Mora drew a one-out walk to start the rally before going to third on a single from Griff Gordon that set up the run on the Petrangolo hit. The Rebels ended the inning with a double play in the next at bat to limit the inning to one run.
Ole Miss answered in the home half of the first, pushing five runs across with a two-out rally and chasing the Gamecock starter.
With Auston Bousfield on second after being hit by a pitch and Austin Anderson on first following a walk, Sikes Orvis delivered a two-out double down the first base line to score both runners and put the Rebels on top. J.B. Woodman then singled up the middle to score Orvis and the Rebels held a 3-1 lead.
Will Jamison then singled and Preston Overbey walked to load the bases and the Gamecocks turned to the bullpen for right-hander Graham Officer. He was welcomed to the game by a two-RBI single up the middle from Errol Robinson as Ole Miss moved the lead out to 5-1 before Jacksonville State would get out of the inning.
The Rebels continued to build on the lead in the fourth inning, pushing two more runs home to take the advantage out to 7-1.
Back-to-back singles from Braxton Lee and Bousfield started the inning before Will Allen delivered a one-out single to left to score Lee. Orvis then came to the plate and drove an RBI single through the right side and scored Bousfield as Ole Miss took the lead out to six runs through four innings of play.
Orvis increased the lead in the sixth with a two-out, two-run home run over the fence in right field to give the Rebels a 9-1 advantage.
Ole Miss added three more runs in the seventh with an RBI single from Bousfield that scored Robinson and a two-RBI single from pinch hitter Colby Bortles to cap the scoring for the Rebels.
Jacksonville State got one more run in the eighth with an RBI single from Griff Gordon that scored Gavin Golsan. Golsan opened the inning with a single to left before another single to left from Michael Bishop put him in scoring position for the Gordon hit.
Ellis got out of the inning and kept the Gamecocks off the board in the ninth to give the Rebels the opening day win in the regional.
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