OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Dylan DeLucia scattered four hits on his first shutout for Mississippi, Kevin Graham’s brace in fourth held, and the Rebels advanced to the College World Series Finals with a 2-0 victory over Arkansas on Thursday.
The Rebels (40-23), the last team chosen for an overall offer 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) beat Connor Noland in a matchup of ace and had his second straight dominating performance on CWS. DeLucia was even better than he was against Auburn in the Rebels’ opener at Omaha last Saturday, commanding his fastball and working his slider effectively on both sides of the plate.
The junior right-hander knocked out Chris Lanzilli to end the 2 hour 6 minute game. DeLucia pumped his fist and threw down his glove before kissing receiver Hayden Dunhurst in front of the mound.
DeLucia, who struck out seven and didn’t walk against the Razorbacks, pitched 16 2/3 CWS innings and allowed one run and eight hits. He stoked 17 and walked none.
Noland (8-6) was nearly as good as DeLucia, giving up seven hits and striking out seven in eight innings.
The Rebels broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning. Justin Bench beat second baseman Robert Moore, moved downfield and headed home when Graham doubled the right field line.
Ole Miss’s other run came in the seventh when Calvin Harris singled into right field after Tim Elko and Graham started with hits. Harris was trying to stretch his hit into a double, and Noland got an innings-ending flyout to keep a game within two runs.
The most problems for DeLucia came in the seventh. He struck out 18 of 19 batters before Moore, who got an extra chance when catcher Hayden Dunhurst dropped a foul on what would have been the third strike, clipped a slow roll to second for a hit. Jalen Battles then reached when shortstop Jacob Gonzalez misplayed a grounder.
The Rebels came out of the inning when second baseman Peyton Chatagnier went wide to his left to collect the ground ball from Brady Slavens and kicked him out first.
It was the sixth time the Southeastern Conference West rivals have met this season. Each team has won three games, none bigger than this one.
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