OMAHA, Nebraska, USA (AP) — Dylan DeLucia scattered four hits in his first shutout for Mississippi, Kevin Graham’s RBI double in the fourth held up and the Rebels advanced to the College World Series final with a 2-0 win over Arkansas on Thursday.
The Rebels (40-23), the last team selected for an overall bid in the NCAA Tournament, rebounded from a 3-2 loss to the Razorbacks on Wednesday night to reach the finals for the first time. They will face Oklahoma in a best-of-three series that begins Saturday.
DeLucia (8-2) outpointed Connor Noland in a duel of aces for his second straight dominant CWS performance. DeLucia was even better than he was against Auburn in the Rebels’ opener in Omaha last Saturday, dominating his fastball and effectively moving his slider to both sides of the plate.
The junior right-hander struck out Chris Lanzilli to end the 2-hour, 6-minute game. DeLucia raised his fist and threw down the glove before hugging catcher Hayden Dunhurst in front of the mound.
DeLucia, who struck out seven and walked none against the Razorbacks, has pitched 16 2/3 innings CWS and has allowed one run on eight hits. He has fanned 17 and hasn’t walked.
Noland (8–6) was almost as good as DeLucia, allowing seven hits and striking out seven in eight innings.
The Rebels broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning. Justin Bench singled past second baseman Robert Moore, advanced on a groundout and reached the plate when Graham doubled down the right-field line.
Scroll to Continue
Watch college baseball online with fuboTV – try it for free!
Ole Miss’s other run came in the seventh when Calvin Harris singled to right field after Tim Elko and Graham led off with base hits. Harris was trying to turn his hit into a double, and Noland flied out late in the inning to keep the game from two runs.
The biggest problem DeLucia encountered came in the seventh. He retired 18 of 19 batters before Moore, who got an extra chance when catcher Hayden Dunhurst dropped a foul tip on what would have been strike three, slowed to second for an infield hit. Jalen Battles then reached base when shortstop Jacob Gonzalez missed a groundout.
The Rebels came out of the inning when second baseman Peyton Chatagnier went far to their left to pick up Brady Slavens’ groundout and hit it out at first.
This was the sixth time the Southeastern Conference West rivals met this season. Each team won three games, none bigger than this one.
More baseball coverage:
For more Ole Miss coverage, go to The Grove Report.