Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Mississippi beats Oklahoma to win first CWS title

OMAHA, Neb. ( Associated Press) — The last team to appear in the NCAA Baseball Tournament was the last.

Mississippi scored twice in a three-run eighth inning on wooded pitches and the Rebels won their first national baseball title, defeating Oklahoma in the finals of the College World Series with a 4-2 victory on Sunday.

The Rebels (42–23) became the ninth national champions to come out of the Southeastern Conference since 2009 and the third straight, and the trophy would remain at Magnolia State for another year. Mississippi State won last year.

Ole Miss benefited from a runner-interference call that took one run away from Oklahoma (45-24) in the sixth inning. The Rebels also beat Cade Horton’s excellent pitching performance, who set the CWS Finals record with 13 strikes.

Brandon Johnson side out in the ninth inning 1-2-3, catcher Hayden Dunhurst races to the mound for a hug and then runs to tackle Johnson after Sebastian Orduno swings and misses on the final pitch.

The national title is the first for the Ole Miss men’s team and the second for the school. The women’s golf team won the NCAA championship in 2021.

It was an impossible journey for the Rebels and coach Mike Bianco of 22nd year, who on May 1 was the target of his team during a 22–17 aggregate in SEC play and 7–14 in SEC play.

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Ole Miss beat the state of North Carolina for the final big bid and had to go on the road to regional and super regionals. The Rebels finished the season on 20–6 runs, including 10–1 in the national tournament.

Their only loss in the CWS was a 3-2 win over Arkansas on Wednesday. The next day, Dylan DeLucia defeated the Razorbacks with a four-hit shutout to send the Rebels into the final. DeLucia was named CWS Most Outstanding Player, allowed one earned run, scored 17 runs and went without a run in 16 2/3 innings.

Ole Miss, who won the opener 10-3 in the CWS final, was down 2-1 in the eighth inning on Sunday. Trevin Michaels relieves Horton with a dismissal, and Jacob Gonzalez hits a single from the right to drive into the tying run.

Michael (4-2) then melted away, opening wild pitches that brought Justin to bench the lead and another to bring in Gonzalez.

Hunter Elliott scattered three hits conceding two runs in 6 1/3 innings. Mason Nichols and John Gaddis (4-2) gave the game to Johnson in ninth place.

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During the 107-pitch performance, Horton allowed four hits and none went.

Oklahoma appeared to have taken a 1–0 lead in the sixth, but when John Spiekerman, who had put down a squishy bunt, was called for the runner’s intervention when he attempted to catch Elliott’s throw. Runner’s intervention was called in to stop first baseman Tim Elko.

Jackson Nicklaus was hit by Elliott opening the innings and was third after a sacrificial and wild pitch. He came home on Spikerman’s bunt, but was asked for a video review by Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco after Spikerman was first told safe.

Spiekerman knocks off Elko’s glove as he runs first, the ball ending in wrong field. The call was reversed, with Spikerman deciding to be inside the base line while running through the bag, requiring Nicklaus to return to third base.

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More Associated Press College Sports: https://apnews.com/hub/college-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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