If you watch college baseball enough, you’ll likely witness what could be called a masterpiece of a performance by a player. Thursday, in a 2-0 Ole Miss victory against Arkansas at the College World Series, Ole Miss starting pitcher Dylan DeLucia delivered one.
The junior right-hander, in his first season at Ole Miss after two years at Northwest Florida State College, pitched a complete game to extend the Rebels’ season and deliver them into the championship series against Oklahoma this weekend.
DeLucia struck out seven and allowed only four hits, facing 32 Razorbacks and not allowing a free pass in the contest. He simply let his defense do its job.
It was the performance that the Rebels needed, leaving the bullpen fully stocked for the final series. DeLucia’s shutout is the first by an SEC pitcher at the College World Series since LSU’s Brett Laxton in 1993.
On the other side, Razorback starter Connor Noland was almost just as effective. But the Rebels were able to scratch out two runs. Noland went 8 innings, striking out seven Rebels and allowing seven hits and also no free passes.
After three scoreless innings for both teams, Justin Bench led off the 4th for the Rebels with a first-pitch single to right field. A Jacob Gonzalez groundout to the second baseman moved Bench to second base. Kevin Graham sent one across the first base bag for a RBI double, and the Rebels led 1-0.
DeLucia continued to pitch well as his teammates played solid defense behind him. Elko then led off the top of the 7th with a single down the third base line. A first-pitch single by Graham put Rebels on first and second with no outs.
Calvin Harris ten came through with an RBI single to score Elko. Despite being thrown out attempting to stretch the play into a double, the Iowa native delivered to double the Rebel lead at 2-0.
The bottom of the 7th was Arkansas’ first real threat to score. After two outs, Robert Moore got aboard on a single and Jalen Battles reached on a Gonzalez error. But Brady Slavens grounded out to Chatagnier at second and the Razorbacks headed to the dugout once again with nothing to show on the scoreboard.
DeLucia kept rolling in the 8th with a strikeout and two ground outs. Ole Miss couldn’t get any runs in the top of the ninth off Razorback reliever Evan Taylor, and it was on to the bottom of the ninth to see if DeLucia could finish it.
Cayden Wallace was first to the plate for Arkansas, and his ground out to third was out #No.1. Michael Turner grounded out to first for out #2 and Chris Lanzilli struck out swinging for the final out, sending a boisterous Rebel crowd in the stands into a frenzy.
The Rebels will take on Oklahoma in a best-of-three series with the national championship on the line. Game one is scheduled for Saturday at 6PM CT on ESPN. The full schedule can be found at OleMissSports.com and the call for all three games can be heard through the Ole Miss Radio Network.
Ole Miss head baseball coach Mike Bianco, pitcher Dylan DeLucia, 1B Time Elko and LF Kevin Graham all talked about the win after the game. Video is courtesy of the NCAA and The College World Series.