College World Series: Ole Miss Wins First Title, Defeats Oklahoma

by Danielle F. Winter

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The last team to participate in the NCAA baseball tournament was the last couple standing.

Mississippi scored twice on wild pitches in an eighth inning of three runs, and the Rebels won their first national baseball title, beating Oklahoma in the College World Series Final with a 4-2 win on Sunday.

The Rebels (42-23) became the eighth national champion since 2009 to come out of the Southeastern Conference and the third in a row, and the trophy will remain in the Magnolia State for another year. Mississippi State won last year.

College World Series


Mississippi pitcher Brandon Johnson (37) reacts after striking out the penultimate batter from Oklahoma in the ninth inning in Game 2 of the NCAA College World Series baseball final, Sunday, June 26, 2022, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. gratz)

“There’s so much to be said for how much we’ve overcome this year, how much we’ve had to fight on, how much we’ve had to pick each other up and never let us down,” said team captain Tim Elko. “The story of our season will be told for years and years to come.”

Ole Miss took advantage of a runner interference call that led to a run for Oklahoma (45-24) in the sixth inning. The Rebels also overcame a spectacular pitching performance by Cade Horton, who set a CWS final record with 13 strikeouts.

Brandon Johnson batted in the side in a 1-2-3 ninth inning, with catcher Hayden Dunhurst running to the mound to hug Johnson and tackle them after Sebastian Orduno waved off and missed the final pitch.

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

Mississippi’s Jack Washburn, right, jumps atop the team pile in celebration of their 4-2 win over Oklahoma in Game 2 of the NCAA College World Series Baseball Finals, Sunday, June 26, 2022, in Omaha, Neb. Mississippi defeated Oklahoma 4-2 to win the championship. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

It was an unlikely journey for the Rebels and 22-year-old coach Mike Bianco, who came under fire when his team was 22-17 overall and 7-14 in the SEC game on May 1.


Ole Miss beat the state of North Carolina for the final big bid and was out for regionals and super regionals. The Rebels finished the season with a 20-6 run, including 10-1 in the national tournament.

Their only loss at the CWS was 3-2 against Arkansas on Wednesday. The next day, Dylan DeLucia threw a four-hit shutout to defeat the Razorbacks and send the Rebels to the final. DeLucia was named CWS Most Outstanding Player after giving up one earned run, striking out 17, and not walking in 16 2/3 innings.

Ole Miss, who won the opener of the CWS Finals 10-3, trailed 2-1 in the eighth inning on Sunday. Trevin Michael relieved Horton with one out, and Jacob Gonzalez singled through the right side to drive in the tying run.

“I kind of knew we were going to start scoring in the eighth or ninth,” said Gonzalez, 3 for 23 in the CWS before hitting a single twice and homering on Sunday. “That’s how we are. We’re going to increase the pressure. We’re not going to strike and sit down. Luckily I got a hit and could finally help the team this week.”

Michael (4-2) then collapsed and uncorked wild throws that brought in Justin Bench for the lead and another to bring in Gonzalez.

Tanner Treadway of Oklahoma is in the dugout after their 4-2 loss to Mississippi in Game 2 of the NCAA College World Series Baseball Finals, Sunday, June 26, 2022, in Omaha, Neb. Mississippi defeated Oklahoma 4-2 to win the championship. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

Hunter Elliott had three hits while giving up two runs in 6 1/3 innings. Mason Nichols and John Gaddis (4-2) got the game to Johnson in the ninth.

Horton gave up four hits and did not walk during a performance of 107 pitches.

“We’ve come here and accomplished a lot this year,” said Horton, an expected first-round in the Major League Baseball draw next month. “But we’ll be back. I know that because this team has laid the foundation for the future of baseball in Oklahoma.”

Oklahoma appeared to have taken a 1-0 lead in the sixth, but the run was cut short when John Spiderman, who put up a squeeze bunt, was called for interference by a runner for hindering Elko on first base when he tried to save Elliott’s throw from catching.

Jackson Nicklaus was hit by Elliott early in the inning and was on third base on a sacrifice and a wild pitch. He came home on Spikerman’s bunt, but Bianco requested a video review when Spikerman was initially called safe.


Spiderman knocked off Elko’s gauntlet as he went through first, landing the ball into foul territory. The call was undone, and Spiderman judged he was inside the baseline when he ran through the bag, forcing Nicklaus back to third base.

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