By Alyssa Schnugg and Adam Brown
Photos by Alyssa Schnugg
The LOU community celebrated the Ole Miss Rebels baseball team Wednesday for winning the National Championship in Omaha, kicking off with a parade through the town.
Thousands of Rebel fans lined North and South Lamar, the downtown Square and University Avenue to wave and cheer the team members as they drove by on one of the town’s iconic Double Decker buses.
“This is an amazing day for our community and an amazing celebration of a team that had taught us a lot of life lessons over the past season,” said Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill before the parade started. “They’re a team that has made us just so proud of the amazing baseball that they played and of their sportsmanship.”
Fans young and young at heart cheered loudly as a burst of red and blue confetti filled the skies as the parade hit the Square.
The celebration continued along University Avenue to Swayze Field, where a fan-filled stadium awaited the team.
How it happened
At the beginning of May, the Rebels returned from a series on the road at Arkansas after 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 took care of business by sweeping Missouri and LSU and 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 the game.
In Hoover, Alabama, Ole Miss lost to Vanderbilt on Tuesday and had to hope to be chosen on selection Monday for a trip to Omaha. Ole Miss then 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 did not 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 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 wrapped up an amazing season with consecutive wins over the Sooners to capture the first baseball national championship in program history.