The rookie out of Windermere, Florida, went 7.0 innings in Friday's 13-3 win over No. 6 Texas A&M, allowing just two runs, one earned, on four hits. Nikhazy didn't walk a single Aggie and struck out a career-high 10 to earn his fifth win of the season, a resounding 13-3 victory for the Rebels.
Nikahzy was perfect his first time through the A&M order, retiring the first nine batters he faced before allowing a single to lead off the fourth inning. That run came around to score on a sacrifice fly. He bounced right back by striking out the side in the fifth inning to preserve a 1-1 tie.
An error led to Texas A&M's second run in the sixth before the Ole Miss offense came through with a six-run frame to give Nikhazy the lead. He retired the Aggies in order in the seventh, setting up for another six-run inning by the Rebel offense. Nikhazy gave up a single to lead off the seventh before checking out to a standing ovation from the 9,884 in attendance with a comfortable 13-2 advantage.
Nikhazy's outing was the second-longest of his Rebel career, behind only his spectacular 7.2-inning performance at Missouri, in which he took a no-hitter into the seventh and checked out with just two hits allowed in the 3-0 victory.
The 10 strikeouts were three more than his previous career-best of seven in his first career start against ECU. Nikhazy's one earned run allowed was the fewest since he yielded just one against Florida three weeks ago, a performance that led to his first SEC Freshman of the Week nod.
Joining Thomas Dillard's SEC Player of the Week honor in Week 2, Ole Miss now has earned three weekly honors from the conference office on the season.
The Rebels have now had a freshman earn SEC Freshman of the Week twice in consecutive seasons. Tyler Keenan accomplished the feat last season, in addition to one SEC Player of the Week nod. Nikhazy, Keenan and Alex Yarbrough (2010) are the only Rebels to be named SEC Freshman of the Week twice.
Nikhazy and the Rebels will hit the road this week for a four-game road swing, starting Wednesday in Hattiesburg against Southern Miss. The freshman's next scheduled start is Saturday, May 4, at LSU.