Utah keeps the momentum going into post season play, as they upset the top seed Ole Miss Rebels to open the NCAA Regional. Utah moves on to the winners bracket and will take on Boston College on Saturday, whereas Ole Miss will play in an elimination game, since the Regional is a double elimination pod.
It was a game of runs, as Utah jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead, and Ole Miss promptly countered in the 3rd. Utah turned around and jumped up on the Rebs again in the 5th on a sac fly from AJ Young, scoring Andrew Jackson. The bottom half of the 5th is when things started to look bad for Utah, as Ole Miss scored 4 runs to take a 5-2 lead, and they were aided by 3 walks in the inning. However, Utah's resilience paid off, as they scored 3 runs of their own in the 6th, including a 2 RBI double by Josh Rose to tie the game. From that point on, it was a rubber match on the mound.
Jayson Rose was a work horse for the Utes, as he's been all season, putting in 6 innings, giving up 5 runs on 4 hits, 4 walks and 4 strikeouts. Rose did have that shaky 5th inning, but was a rock all night long. Riley Ottesen took over for Rose and was awesome, as he shut down Ole Miss the remainder of the night, with 4 strikeouts of his own.
Utah was clutch in the 10th inning, as they've been since conference play. With two outs in the 10th, Kellen Marruffo hit a nice base hit to get aboard, and was pinch run for by Chandler Anderson. A pass ball got Anderson to 2nd, and may have been able to get to 3rd in my opinion, but stayed. A couple of pitches later, Hunter Simons ripped an RBI double into right-center field to give Utah the 6-5 lead. While Utah did get another base runner, the top of the 10th would end with no more runs for the Utes.
Going into the home half, Utah closer Dylan Dratchler came in to finish the game. He promptly got a quick line out to second, but the next two batters singled to get on base. With the SEC home field crowd sensing a walk off win for Ole Miss, Dratchler came through with a fly out and strikeout to end the game.
It was an awesome game, because it included everything. Clutch hitting, clutch pitching, rallies, and even a rain storm about half way through the game.
As mentioned, Utah will take on Boston College Saturday, with first pitched scheduled eat 4pm MT.