Nikhazy ties school record with 16 strikeouts

 Barry Allen   in Baseball

Ole Miss is in the driver's seat in the Oxford Regional.

Ole Miss left-hander Doug Nikhazy turned in a performance for the ages on Saturday night at Swayze Field.

Nikhazy tied the Ole Miss single-game record with a career-high 16 strikeouts as the Rebels moved to within one win of another Super Regional appearance with a 4-3 win over Florida State.

The Rebels got solid starting pitching last week at the SEC Tournament, which allowed Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco to roll the dice and start Derek Diamond in the NCAA Regional opener against SE Missouri on Friday night.

The move paid dividends on Saturday as Nikhazy was almost un-hittable against the Seminoles.

Nikhazy struck out at least two batters in all seven innings before exiting after throwing 119 pitches.

He struck out the side in the second and seventh innings.

Nikhazy allowed two home runs in a three-run fifth inning as the Seminoles took a 3-2 lead.

Isaiah Perry put the Seminoles on the board with a solo home run in the fifth. It was his first home run of the season in just his 10th at-bat. Logan Lacy added a two-run homer to give FSU the 3-2 lead.

Nikhazy shook off the two home runs and struck out the final five batters he faced.

Florida State made three errors which led to all four Ole Miss runs.

The Seminoles made two first-inning errors on the same play to give the Rebels a 2-0 lead.

Ole Miss scored the tying and go-ahead runs on a throwing error by shortstop Nander DeSadas in the seventh inning.

Taylor Broadway came on in the eighth inning and retired the side on three ground outs to shortstop Jacob Gonzalez, who made a bare-handed grab off a deflection by Broadway to just get Tyler Martin at first to end the inning. 

Broadway struck out the side in the ninth to give the Rebels 19 strikeouts in the win. He has retired all 11 batters he has faced to earn two saves in the Regional.

The Rebels appear to be in good shape to win the Regional after the starts by Diamond and Nikhazy and a fresh bullpen.