College World Series 2022: Ole Miss baseball coach Mike Bianco, players gush after 13-5 win over Arkansas

Once upon a time, Ole Miss baseball was the team that snuck into the NCAA Tournament by the skin of its teeth. Once upon a time, Ole Miss had won just seven of its first 21 games in SEC play.

But both things feel like a figment of the imagination now. The Rebels are smoking hot. They exploded for 13 hits, including Tim Elko's 23rd homer of the season, to cruise past Arkansas 13-5. Ole Miss is just one win away from clinching a spot in the College World Series finals.

Ole Miss' bottom two hitters (Garrett Wood and Calvin Harris) gave Arkansas fits, combining for four hits, three runs scored and four RBIs. Wood coaxed two walks and Harris crushed his second homer of the season in the fifth inning. 

That was all freshman Hunter Elliott needed. He finished with 6 1/3 innings of three-run (one earned) ball with two walks and four punch-outs.

"Just trying to have good at-bats," leadoff hitter Justin Bench said after a four-hit performance. "And a lot of people had good at-bats today."

BIANCO'S OPENING STATEMENT: "Lost my voice a little bit, sorry. We were terrific tonight. Just really played well and it starts on the mound. And Hunter [Elliott] was just like he's pitched the second half of the season. Unfortunately, for him, we didn't play great defense early.

And not taking anything away from Arkansas but he shouldn't have given up a run today. We mispositioned [Jacob] Gonzalez in the first inning and allowed a routine ground ball to the shortstop become a base hit to start the game. And then with two outs, sun/wind, fly ball to left field. Actually got five outs in the first inning.

"And, so, then of course two unearned runs in the second. But I think what people haven't seen before or haven't seen, if you haven't seen Hunter before, you saw why he's so good, that here's a freshman on the biggest stage in amateur baseball and he didn't let it affect him. He just couldn't to pitch and work and grind.

"And offensively we were really, really good. Mike Clement and the offense, just a great approach. And got some huge hits. I thought we got some big walks. So many guys had huge days. Of course, 

Calvin and Justin [Bench], but others — Elko had a huge home run, one of the longest balls I've ever seen hit here. And then I thought [Kevin] Graham had a good day as well, a couple of base hits a couple of really good [at-bats]. Just a really good night for us."