Tim Elko’s guarantee worked. The Ole Miss first baseman and team captain said before the field of 64 was announced in late May that they would win it all if the Rebels were selected. And that they did. Ole Miss beat Oklahoma in the second game of the Men’s College World Series on Sunday, 4-2, to sweep the Sooners and win the national championship.
Ole Miss bumped ahead of Texas back in March to be the No. 1 team in the nation. They then started losing games and dropped out of the picture. They were the No. 9 seed in the SEC tournament and were a one-and-done team, losing in the play-in round 3-1 to Vanderbilt. When it came to the NCAA Tournament, Ole Miss wasn’t even sure if they would make it. And they ended up being one of the last four teams selected, as a No. 3 seed in the Miami Regional where they had to get by No. 6 national seed Miami and Arizona.
Ole Miss won 10 of their 11 games in the NCAA tournament. They swept the Miami Regional. They swept the Hattiesburg Super Regional. They advanced to the semifinals in Omaha through the winner’s bracket. Their only loss was the first semifinal matchup with Arkansas. Then they swept Oklahoma in the championship round.
In Sunday’s game, Ole Miss was on the board first with a home run by Jacob Gonzalez in the bottom of the first. Oklahoma jumped ahead with two runs in the top of the 7th. Then thanks to three wild pitches in the 8th, Ole Miss was able to add three runs to take the lead.
John Gaddis (4-2) got the win after pitching in relief for 1.1 innings late in the game. Ole Miss starter Hunter Elliott went 6.2 innings with three hits, two runs, and six strikeouts on 96 pitches. For the Sooners, ace Cade Horton pitched 7.1 innings with four hits, two runs, and 13 strikeouts on 107 pitches.
Ole Miss pitcher Dylan DeLucia won the tournament’s MVP award after pitching 16 2/3 innings in his appearances while only allowing one run and throwing 17 strikeouts.
“Ole Miss means the world to me….I prayed after the draft last year,” Elko said after the game. “God told me that I am not done here at Ole Miss. I was like, ‘alright, let’s do this thing then.’ It was the best decision I could have made.” Elko went undrafted last season and returned to Oxford for his senior year.
A parade will be held in downtown Oxford, Miss., on Wednesday, June 29, at 5:15 p.m. to honor the national champions.
The national championship trophy will remain in the Magnolia State for a second consecutive year after the Mississippi State Bulldogs won the championship last year. South Carolina won back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011, and Oregon State won in 2006 and 2007. However, the last time the national championship was won by two schools in the same state in consecutive years was 2002-2003, when Texas and Rice won the championship.
Next up: The college baseball season has come to an end. First pitch for the 2023 season will be on Friday, February 17 – 235 days from now. However, in just 61 days, on August 27, college football returns.
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