By Adam Brown
The Ole Miss baseball 2021 season came to a close one game shy of making the College World Series in Omaha by tossing to Arizona in a winner-take-all Super Regional Final by the score of 16-3.
Ole Miss finished with a 45-22 overall record and a mark of 18-12 in the SEC. That included three wins in the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama.
This season, Ole Miss picked up right where the 2020 club left off with a 16-game winning streak after the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down and pushed the streak to a 20-game.
The Rebels opened 2021 up by sweeping No. 10 TCU, No. 3 Texas Tech and No. 9 Texas at the State Farm College Baseball Showdown out in Arlington, Texas, then defeating Arkansas State at home.
Coach Mike Bianco and the Rebels faced a lot of adversity throughout the slate with injuries. Ole Miss had Peyton Chatagnier at the beginning of the year for a few games. In April, Tim Elko went down with a torn ACL and was out of the lineup for about a month. In May, the Rebels pitching staff lost Gunnar Hoglund to a torn UCL. Max Cioffi went down with an arm injury and had to have Tommy John’s surgery during the season.
This offseason, Ole Miss will have Gunnar Hoglund, Doug Nikhazy, Taylor Broadway and possibly Elko if he decides not to come back for another season due to COVID.
Cade Sammons, Trey LeFleur and Luke Baker have entered the transfer portal for next season. Sammons played in 40-games and had a .111 batting average with seven runs and an RBI. LeFleur had seven starts and played in 17 games and had a home run.
Next season, the Rebels could get the whole batting lineup back that had five players hitting over .300 on the season all led by freshman Jacob Gonzalez with a .355 average.
This season, Ole Miss hit a total of 85 home runs all led by their captain, Elko with 16 bombs. His teammate Kevin Graham was right behind him with 14.
Ole Miss scored a total of 478 runs this season, Gonzalez set the table as the team leader with 73 runs.
Next season, Ole Miss will be needing to find pitchers to step into the weekend rotation Derek Diamond will be back on the mound. Jack Dougherty came on strong at the close of the season after having his redshirt taking off. He had two starts and 12 appearances on the mound with a 2-2 record and a 5.40 ERA.
Ole Miss will return to the diamond of Oxford-University Stadium and Swayze Field in January to make another run for Omaha and the College World Series.