Ole Miss

Irvine loss a boost for Rebs' hopes of hosting super regional

The Ole Miss Rebels got a little good news after their collapse in a 10-9 loss to Western Kentucky on Sunday night in the NCAA Oxford Regional.

California Irvine, the No. 6 national seed, got bounced from the tournament later that night on the West Coast, losing to No. 2 seed Virginia 4-1 in the NCAA Irvine Regional. The winner of the Oxford regional would have been sent to California if the Anteaters could have come through the losers' bracket and won the tournament.

Which means Virginia (46-12-1) awaits the winner of tonight's Ole Miss-Western Kentucky game, scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at Oxford-University Stadium. Ole Miss would not be assured of the home-field advantage for an NCAA super regional to begin next weekend, but would be the likely choice. The sites for the eight super regional sites are scheduled to be announced after the competition is completed tonight.

Ole Miss (42-18) built leads of 3-0, 5-1 and 9-3 before Western Kentucky's potent offense went into overdrive in the top of the eighth inning, tying the game at 9 on slugger Wade Gaynor's three-run home run.

The Hilltoppers (42-19) took their first lead of the game on Jake Wells' leadoff homer in the ninth and retired the Rebels in order to force tonight's winner-take-all game.

The SEC has already put three teams in the super regionals -- No. 3 national seed LSU, Florida and Arkansas. Three other SEC teams -- Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and South Carolina -- are in winner-take-all games tonight. Florida will play host to either Southern Miss or Georgia Tech in super regional play; the Gators are the No. 8 national seed.

Further updates on the Oxford and Atlanta regionals will be available on sunherald.com. See Tuesday's editions for complete coverage.

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