Ole Miss honors baseball team with National Championship parade

Ole Miss celebrates National Championship
Ole Miss celebrates National Championship
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:13 PM CDT
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OXFORD, Miss. (WLBT) - Thousands of fans braved the heat Wednesday afternoon to cheer on the Ole Miss Rebels baseball team for winning its first NCAA Baseball National Championship.

The afternoon’s events included a parade, followed by a ceremony inside Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.

Dignitaries from the college, the town of Oxford, and the state were on hand to congratulate the Rebels coaching staff and players for making history.

“I’ve been calling Rebel baseball games... for 44 years. This was the greatest turnaround I’ve ever seen,” said David Kellum, the voice of the Rebels. “Not only for our school but any school.”

After losing in the first round of the SEC tournament, Ole Miss (42-23, 14-16 SEC) was the last team selected for the NCAA Regionals, earning a spot at Coral Gables, Florida.

The Rebels cruised through the regional, as they went on to win 10 of 11 postseason games, losing only one matchup in the third game of the College World Series.

Wins included a 22-6 stomping of the Arizona Wildcats, 10-0 and 5-0 wins against Southern Miss in the Hattiesburg Super Regional, and two wins against SEC rival Arkansas in the World Series.

“This season has been nothing less than remarkable... A really good team that rose to the No. 1 position in the nation,” Kellum said before a packed house at Swayze Field. “We were rolling along and then had to fight through a tough patch... We fell out of the polls, but the players and coaches continued to battle, to work and believe, rising to get into the NCAA tournament.”

For his part, after many expected Ole Miss to miss the postseason, Coach Mike Bianco earned National Coach of the Year honors from the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper for leading the team’s comeback.

“Mike, you and all the coaching staff... what an amazing job. We’re so incredibly proud of you, we can’t even put it in words,” said Ole Miss Chancellor Glenn Boyce to cheers. “Coaching is one of the most rewarding professions... yet it is also one of the most demanding professions. Long, long hours. Family sacrifice. No shortage of criticism, and no lack of disappointment...”

“I want you to know from me, personally, I’ve got all daughters, but if I had sons... They’d be right here playing for you.”

Several state leaders attended the ceremony as well, including House Speaker Philip Gunn and Gov. Tate Reeves.

The governor proclaimed Wednesday as “2022 National Champion Ole Miss Rebel Baseball Day,” and also commended the fans for their support.

“I think it’s fair to say while this team was fantastic... I think we can all agree, were it not for the support of every one of you in the stands tonight, and everyone who made Omaha Olemaha... you were a big part of the reason why the 2022 Ole Miss baseball team is National Champions.”

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