Sunday, August 14, 2022

National Title Celebration Rocks Swayze

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor
adam.brown@hottytoddy.com

After waving to cheering fans during a parade around the historic Oxford Square on Wednesday, the Ole Miss baseball team made the short trip to Oxford-University Stadium to continue the celebration of the first baseball national championship in program history. 

The winning team was joined on the field by Governor Tate Reeves, Mayor Robyn Tannehill, Athletic Director Keith Carter and others to celebrate the historic event.

Head coach Mike Bianco, along with players Peyton Chatagnier, Kevin Graham, Justin Bench, Brandon Johnson and team captain Tim Elko, all thanked fans for showing up in Omaha and coming out on Wednesday to show support for the National Championship.

“[The support] has been overwhelming in a good way and a very touching way,” Bianco said. “We knew [fans] would be in Omaha and we are touched on how much this means to them.”

How it happened

At the beginning of May, the Rebels returned from a series on the road at Arkansas in which they had a 7-14 mark in SEC play and needed to close out the last nine conference games strong, with at least a 7-2 record to make the SEC Tournament.

The Rebels did exactly that by sweeping Missouri and LSU, while taking a mid-week game from No. 11 Southern Miss during the run. On the last weekend of the regular season, Ole Miss hosted Texas A&M and won a game.

In Hoover, Alabama, Ole Miss lost to Vanderbilt on Tuesday and had to hope to be called on selection Monday for the road to Omaha. Ole Miss headed to Coral Gables Regional and faced Arizona and Miami.

Ole Miss stormed through Coral Gables and Hattiesburg by winning five straight games to arrive in Omaha. Bianco’s club never let off the gas in Omaha as they got to 2-0 by defeating Auburn and Arkansas. The Razorbacks forced a winner-take-all game on June 23 with the victorious team advancing to the Championship Series. A dominating performance on the mound by junior Dylan DeLucia propelled Ole Miss to play Oklahoma for the National title.

The Rebels closed the 2022 season by defeating Oklahoma in consecutive games as the team secured its first National Championship to cap a magical season.


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