Against the ropes, Tulane baseball sends Alex Massey to mound vs. Ole Miss _lowres

Advocate file photo

OXFORD, Miss. — Needing a win to stay alive in the Oxford regional, Tulane will pitch senior Alex Massey in an unexpected elimination-game matchup against Ole Miss on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The top-seeded Rebels lost 6-5 to No. 4 seed Utah in 10 innings late Friday night, while the second-seeded Green Wave fell 7-2 to No. 3 Boston College earlier in the day.

Massey (6-4, 4.08 ERA) was erratic early in the year but has come on strong recently. He limited Central Florida to two hits in eight innings of a shutout victory at the American Athletic Conference tournament on May 27 and has allowed one earned runs in his last 27 innings on the road.

Ole Miss will counter with sophomore lefty David Parkinson (5-3, 2.74), who was strong out of the bullpen for the first half of the season but has struggled as a starter recently. He has given up 38 hits and 18 runs (12 earned) in his last five starts, including a performance against LSU when the Tigers had nine hits and four runs in 4.2 innings on April 29.

Tulane has not gone 0-2 in a regional since 1987. Ole Miss last went 0-2 at home in 2004, when the Wave won the Oxford regional as a No. 3 seed.

The winner of their elimination game will face the loser of the winners’ bracket game between Boston College and Utah on Sunday.

Tulane coach David Pierce chose Massey over three other candidates, including, his younger brother --freshman Ross Massey. Also available were former Friday starter-turned-closer Corey Merrill and midweek starter J.P. France.