By Adam Brown
Ole Miss claimed its first-ever National Championship in baseball on Sunday, besting the Oklahoma Sooners with a 4-2 victory.
Ole Miss (41-23) starter Hunter Elliott matched up against Oklahoma starter Cade Horton in a pitchers’ duel until the sixth inning. Both hurlers kept the other team from taking the advantage in the game.
Elliott allowed a base knock in the first two inning, but then only allowed a walk and a hit by a pitch in the next two frames. Sooners hurler Horton only allowed three base runners in the first four innings.
Rebels shortstop Jacob Gonzalez delivered the first run of the game on a home run to right field in the sixth inning.
Oklahoma quickly answered with two runs in the seventh after a two-out double by Jimmy Crooks, followed by a walk to Wallace Clark and an RBI double by Jackson Nicholas. The Sooners’ final game run came on a walk to Kendall Pettis.
In the seventh, Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco made the call to the bullpen and brought Mason Nichols in to face two batters before turning the ball over to John Gaddis, who worked a 1.1 of scoreless baseball with two strikeouts and a walk to pick up the win.
Ole Miss scored its final three runs of the season in the eighth as TJ McCants had a one-out single, followed by a base knock by Justin Bench. Gonzalez followed with an RBI hit that scored McCants, tying the game at 2-2. Bench and Gonzalez each came into score on wild pitches that got past the catcher.
Gonzalez finished the game going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs on the afternoon.
In the ninth, Brandon Johnson came out of the bullpen to close the door on the Sooners by striking out the side for a National Championship.