Ole Miss Rebels win College World Series!
Published 5:07 pm Sunday, June 26, 2022
Mississippi scored twice on wild pitches in a three-run eighth inning and the Rebels won their first national baseball title, sweeping Oklahoma in the College World Series finals with a 4-2 victory Sunday.
The Rebels (42-23) became the eighth national champion since 2009 to come out of the Southeastern Conference, and the trophy will stay in the Magnolia State for a second straight year. Mississippi State won last year.
Ole Miss benefited from a runner-interference call that took a run away from Oklahoma (45-24) in the sixth inning. The Rebels also overcame a spectacular pitching performance by Cade Horton, who set a CWS finals record with 13 strikeouts.
Brandon Johnson struck out the side in a 1-2-3 ninth inning, with catcher Hayden Dunhurst running to the mound to embrace and then tackle Johnson after Sebastian Orduno swung and missed on the final pitch.
The Rebels, the last team to receive an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament, went into the eighth inning down 2-1. Trevin Michael relieved Horton with one out, and Jacob Gonzalez singled through the right side to drive in the tying run.
Michael (4-2) melted down after that, uncorking wild pitches that brought in Justin Bench for the go-ahead run and another to bring in Gonzalez.
Hunter Elliott scattered three hits while allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings. Mason Nichols and John Gaddis (4-2) got the game to Johnson in the ninth.
Horton allowed four hits and walked none during a sterling 107-pitch performance.
Oklahoma appeared to have taken a 1-0 lead in the sixth but had the run taken down when John Spikerman, who put down a squeeze bunt, was called for runner’s interference for impeding first baseman Tim Elko as he tried to catch Elliott’s throw.
Jackson Nicklaus had been hit by Elliott leading off the inning and was on third after a sacrifice and wild pitch. He came home on Spikerman’s bunt, but Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco asked for a video review when Spikerman was called safe at first.
Spikerman knocked off Elko’s glove as he ran through first, with the ball ending up in foul territory. The call was overturned, with Spikerman ruled to have been inside the base line as he ran through the bag, requiring Nicklaus to return to third base.