By Adam Brown
Ole Miss (33-22, 14-16 SEC) advances to the winner’s bracket game of the Coral Gables Regional after a 7-4 victory over the No. 2 seed Arizona Wildcats.
Ole Miss‘s starter Dylan DeLucia was masterful on the mound against the Wildcats in the Rebels opening game of the regional. DeLucia set a new career-high in strikeouts with 12.
Arizona jumped out to an early advantage in the second inning after two solo home runs by Chase Davis and Garen Caulfield.
The Wildcats starter Garrett Irvin kept the Rebels off the scoreboard until the fourth inning as shortstop Jacob Gonzalez delivered a two-run home run to right field that scored Justin Bench and tied the game at 2-2.
DeLucia didn’t allow Arizona to score another run until the sixth. After the home run to Caulfield, he retired seven sluggers in a row including striking out the side in the fourth.
Arizona would score its final two runs of the night off a two-run double by Tony Bullard in the sixth.
Ole Miss quickly answered with a two-run blast to left by Peyton Chatagnier that scored Kemp Alderman and tied the game back up at 4-4.
DeLucia worked 6.0 complete innings and surrendered four runs on five hits with 12 strikeouts and a walk.
Head coach Mike Bianco then brought in Josh Mallitz out of the bullpen. Mallitz continued making it tough on the Wildcat hitters. The right-hander worked two innings while not surrendering a run on a base knock and struck out five hitters to pick up the win.
In the eighth, Chatagnier delivered a bases-clearing double to give Ole Miss a 7-4 advantage.
The Rebels second baseman finished the game going 3-for-4 with a base knock, home run and a double with four RBIs.
Ole Miss’ closer Brandon Johnson came in to close the door and secure the win over Arizona with a hit, three strikeouts and a walk.
As a pitching staff, Ole Miss recorded 20 strikeouts on the night. The most in program history in postseason play and just one shy of the Rebels’ single-game record.
On Sunday, Ole Miss will take on the national 6-seed Miami Hurricanes in the winner’s bracket game around 2 p.m. CT and can be seen on ESPN+.