STARKVILLE, Miss. – Miami delayed elimination from the Starkville Regional after exploding to a 12-2 victory over Southern University at Polk-Dement Stadium on Saturday.
Miami, the No. 2 seed at the Starkville Regional, suffered a disappointing 6-5 defeat to the third seed Central Michigan on Friday and needed to avoid back-to-back defeats on Saturday to stay in the hunt for a Super Regional place.
In the end, the Hurricanes (40-19) easily battered Southern University by double-digits to set up a clash with either host and No. 1 Mississippi State or No. 3 Central Michigan on Sunday.
Meanwhile, with the defeat, Southern (32-24), the SWAC champion, has been eliminated from 2019 NCAA Tournament.
Miami went to work early with the bat against Southern right-hander Eli Finney, as they build a 12-0 run lead, including eight runs in the top of the fifth inning to retire Finney for the afternoon.
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The Canes had 12 runs off 13 hits.
Starter Evan McKendry (7-2) retired the first eight Jaguars bats he faced.
After McKendry left the mound, Junior Mark Mixon continued Miami’s dominance with the ball, as he struck out three over two scoreless innings before redshirt freshman Alex Ruiz followed with two scoreless periods.
Jeremy Cook closed out the win in the ninth inning.
McKendry had 37 with 29 strikes, while Mixon pitched 29 times with 20 strikes. Ruiz finished with 24 (13 strikes) and Cook 32 (16 strikes).
W: Evan McKendry (7-2)
L: Eli Finney (6-3)
2B: Adrian Del Castillo 2; Alex Toral 1; Gabe Rivera 1
RBI: Anthony Vilar 1; Raymond Gil 2; JP Gates 1; Alex Toral 4; Gabe Rivera 3
SF: Raymond Gil 1
2B: Javeyan Williams 1
RBI: Rashard Ranie 1; Zavier Moore 1