Saturday, December 9, 2023

Top Sports Stories of 2022 for Second Quarter

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

In the second quarter of 2022 the Ole Miss baseball team made its run to Omaha, capturing the first-ever national championship in program history.

The Rebels left the Arkansas series with a 7-14 record in the SEC, needing to finish strong to make the SEC Baseball Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. Ole Miss stepped up to the plate and won the next seven games, sweeping Missouri and LSU with a mid-week victory over Southern Miss.

Coach Mike Bianco’s club arrived sitting at 13-14 in the league heading into a three-game series against No. 4 Texas A&M prior to the SEC tournament.

The Rebels won game two of the series to end the regular season at 14-16 in the SEC. In Hoover, Ala., Ole Miss faced Vanderbilt on opening night and lost 3-1. The team had to wait a week to see if they would make it into the Road to Omaha.

On Memorial Day, Ole Miss was the last team in the Coral Gables, Fla., Regional facing Arizona, a team that knocked them out of the Super Regionals in 2021.

The Rebels defeated Arizona and No. 6 Miami to advance to the Championship game against Arizona, which came back through the loser’s bracket. Ole Miss defeated Arizona 22-6 to advance to the Super Regionals against Southern Miss.

Ole Miss kept the moment going with dominant pitching against the Golden Eagles. The Rebels swept Southern Miss in two games to advance to Omaha for the first time since 2014.

In Omaha, the Rebels’ side of the bracket had them matched up against two SEC Western Division opponents, Auburn and Arkansas. Ole Miss defeated both Auburn (5-1) and Arkansas (13-5) to secure the driver’s seat.

Arkansas met the Rebels in the bracket finals for the right to go to the national championship. Arkansas won the first game (3-2), but the next day Ole Miss had a dominating complete game performance by Dylan DeLucia that punched the Rebels’ ticket to go take on Oklahoma for the national title.