Ole Miss rallies past Arizona, 7-4, in regional opener
From University of Mississippi Sports Information
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (WDAM) – When the tropical storm had finally subsided—after more than a 24-hour delay to the start of the NCAA Coral Gables Regional—the third-seeded University of Mississippi baseball team made it worth the wait.
The Rebels traded shots with the second-seeded University of Arizona all the way until early Sunday morning at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field but followed a record pitching performance and a tremendous night from Peyton Chatagnier to secure a 7-4 win.
The Rebels (33-22) now have a date with the host University of Miami Hurricanes (40-18) at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Dylan DeLucia recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts before exiting in the seventh inning with the game tied 4-4.
He passed the baton to Josh Mallitz, who followed suit with five strikeouts over two scoreless innings of work to earn the win.
Brandon Johnson added three more Ks to close the game out and give the Ole Miss pitching staff 20 strikeouts on the night—the most in program history in postseason play and just one shy of the Rebels’ single-game record.
Offensively, Chatagnier was the lead catalyst, going 3-for-4 with four RBI, including a game-tying home run in the seventh and a bases loaded three-run double in the eighth to give the Rebels a lead they would not relinquish.
Arizona (38-24) took an early lead in the second via the long ball. Chase Davis opened scoring for the night with a leadoff home run to left field. Two batters later, Garen Caulfield sent a ball over the right-field fence for another solo shot.
That lead would last until the fourth, when Jacob Gonzalez followed Justin Bench’s leadoff single
with a no-doubt bomb that just snuck inside the right-field foul pole to tie the game, 2-2.
The Wildcats regained the lead in the sixth inning, plating a pair of runs on Tony Bullard’s double to the left-center gap, scoring runners from first and second.
The Rebels answered in a hurry.
In the seventh inning, Kemp Alderman singled and Chatagnier sent a pitch over the left-field wall to tie the game at 4-4.
With momentum on its side, Ole Miss pounced in the eighth inning.
Walks to Gonzalez, Alderman and Tim Elko loaded the bases and Chatagnier cleared them, sending a double down the left-field line to make the score, 7-4.
Arizona threatened in the bottom of the ninth inning, placing runners on second and third with no outs. With the tying run standing at the plate, Johnson fanned three straight Wildcats to secure the Ole Miss victory.
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