For the first time in school history, Ole Miss is the college baseball national champion. The Rebels used a three-run bottom of the eighth to come from behind and beat Oklahoma in Game 2 of the College World Series Finals on Sunday afternoon (Ole Miss 4, Oklahoma 2). They swept the best-of-three series at Charles Schwab Field Omaha in Nebraska.
Here is the final out of this year’s College World Series:
Despite the loss, the star of Game 2 was Oklahoma redshirt freshman right-hander Cade Horton. Horton missed the entire 2021 season with Tommy John surgery and returned to game action in late March. He held the Rebels to two runs in 7 2/3 innings Sunday and set a new College World Series Finals record with 13 strikeouts. Horton is draft-eligible this year but is not considered a potential first rounder.
Oklahoma took a 2-1 lead into the eighth inning of Game 2 and they got two quick outs to begin the frame, putting them four outs away from forcing a winner-take-all Game 3. Instead, the next five Ole Miss batters reached base to push across three runs: double, walk, double, hit-by-pitch, walk. The go-ahead run scored on a wild pitch that was the result of a cross up:
Ole Miss junior righty Dylan DeLucia was named College World Series MVP. He turned in two masterpieces in Omaha, holding Auburn to one run in 7 1/3 innings while striking out 10 on June 18, then fanning seven in a complete game four-hit shutout of Arkansas on June 23. That’s one run on eight hits in 16 2/3 innings in the College World Series. DeLucia struck out 17.
The Rebels certainly did not take an easy route to the College World Series. They were 7-14 in conference play on May 1 and they were an at-large team into the field of 64 postseason tournament. Ole Miss won the Coral Gables Regional and outscored Southern Mississippi 15-0 in the best-of-three Super Regionals sweep to reach Omaha.
As for Oklahoma, they won the Gainesville Regional and outlasted Virginia Tech in three games in the Super Regionals.