After a good win over Illinois to start off region play, Clemson fell to the #12th seeded Ole Miss Rebels. Offensively, Clemson just couldn’t figure out Ole Miss starting pitcher Doug Nikhazy. Nikhazy went eight innings for the Rebels, striking out nine Tigers. Clemson’s lone run of the day came in the seventh when Grayson Byrd scored off of a double play.
Offensively, Ole Miss got things started early when Cole Zabowski and Cooper Johnson ripped back to back homers in the second to put Ole Miss up 2-0 and spark a pair of beer showers in the student section. Freshman Kevin Graham also went yard for the Rebels in the eighth to put Ole Miss up 6-1. After an amazing outing against Louisville in the ACC Tournament, starting pitcher Mat Clark gave up four runs on five hits in 3.1 innings of work, earning the loss.
For the fourth straight year in a row Clemson has won their Friday night regional game only to follow it up with a loss on Saturday. This means once again the Tigers are facing the tall task of winning three games in two days in order to advance to the Super Regionals. Earlier in the day Jacksonville State defeated Illinois eliminating the Illini. Clemson will face off with Jacksonville State in an elimination game Sunday at 3:00 PM. The winner of that game will turn around and face Ole Miss. If the Jacksonville State/Clemson winner were to beat Ole Miss, the two teams would play a winner take all game on Monday.
Given Clemson’s pitching issues, the Tigers have not done themselves any favors by losing Saturday night. Given Jacob Hennessey’s short outing on Friday, there’s a good chance he makes an appearance in relief on Sunday at some point. Jackson Lindley will probably get the nod as the starting pitcher vs the Gamecocks tomorrow. The two teams will flip a coin prior to the game to determine who is the designated “home team.”