OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A night off from catching re-charged Will Allen at the plate.
Allen, who was in the lineup as the designated hitter on Thursday night to rest a sore shoulder, snapped out of a mini-slump with three hits and three RBIs to lead Mississippi past TCU 6-4 at the College World Series.
Ole Miss (48-20) advanced to play No. 3 national seed Virginia on Friday night. The Rebels would need to beat the Cavaliers (51-14) on Friday and again Saturday to reach next week's best-of-three championship series.
The other bracket has unbeaten Vanderbilt (51-14) against Texas (45-20).
Allen and Sikes Orvis combined for six of the Rebels' 11 hits on a warm, calm evening that provided more favorable conditions for offense at TD Ameritrade Park.
"Winds not blowing in 20 mph, it's a little different here," Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. "We were able to barrel some balls up and get some hits."
The Rebels put up the most runs allowed by TCU (48-18) in 16 games, and they did it against a pitching staff that came in with a nation-leading 2.16 ERA.
Ole Miss won its fourth elimination game in the NCAA tournament.
"It's just something with this team, when our back's up against the wall, we play really good baseball," Allen said. "Just a tough team, a very confident team. And we've continued to do it throughout the whole season."
Allen, a .336 hitter for the year, was batting .219 in his previous eight games and was 0 for 8 in the CWS when he stepped to the plate in the third inning. His two-out, two-run double produced a 3-0 lead, he had the tie-breaking base hit in the seventh, and he scored an insurance run after he singled in the ninth.
Yes, taking the night off from catching helped. Allen had been struggling with a sore right shoulder the entire postseason. Austin Knight played a strong game behind the plate and set up a run in the third inning with a sacrifice.
Allen said the DH's role didn't change his approach.