OXFORD, Miss. (WCBI/Ole Miss Athletics) – The Rebels advanced to an NCAA Regional Championship game for the seventh time in the last 10 seasons when No. 12 Ole Miss (43-18) defeated No. 14 Washington (40-16-1) by a score of 2-1 Sunday at the NCAA Oxford Regional.
Ole Miss will face either Washington or No. 25 Georgia Tech at 2 p.m. CT at Swayze Field on Monday.
The Rebels got a quality start out of Christian Trent and a clutch performance out of the bullpen from Aaron Greenwood to grab the win in the pitcher’s duel with the Huskies.
Trent (9-0) picked up the win, allowing one run on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts through 6.1 innings of work. Greenwood picked up his fourth save, allowing one hit with a walk and four strikeouts through the final 2.2 innings of work.
Auston Bousfield provided what proved to be the game-winning run with a solo shot in the fifth inning, his sixth home run of the season.
“It was a great college baseball game,” Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. “It was certainly well-pitched. Both starters were tremendous. We were able to scratch a couple of runs across. One of those games that you’ve been seeing across the country; it was a low-scoring game, where every pitch and every play seems to matter. We made enough pitches and got enough hits. I’m proud of the way Christian (Trent) pitched and then the way Aaron (Greenwood) closed it out for us.”
Ole Miss got on the board in the fourth inning with an RBI double to left field from J.B. Woodman. After leadoff singles from Austin Anderson and Will Allen, Woodman fought through 10 pitches before delivering the double to left to bring Anderson home and put the Rebels on the board with the 1-0 lead.
Bousfield added to the lead in the fifth inning, sending a line drive over the wall in left-center with two outs to put the Rebels on top 2-0.
Washington got a run back in the seventh, using a two-out rally to jump back into the game. With men at first and second and two outs, Robert Pehl sent a ball back up the middle to score Trevor Mitsui from second. An errant throw to the plate from center put two men in scoring position as Brian Wolfe went from first to third and Pehl took second on the play.
Ole Miss then turned to Greenwood out of the bullpen and the Huskies sent pinch hitter Ryan Wiggins to the plate. The right-handed reliever struck out Wiggins and then got a lineout to second from Erik Forgione to end the inning and keep the Rebels on top 2-1.
The Huskies looked to use another two-out rally in the eighth to tie the game when Mitsui came to the plate with men at the corners following a walk of Austin Rei and a single to shallow center from Branden Berry. Greenwood again got the Rebels out of the jam, striking out Mitsui to end the threat and maintain the lead for Ole Miss.
Greenwood then held Washington in check in the ninth, retiring the side in order to grab the win and send the Rebels into the championship game on Monday.