If you do not let the other team score very much, you will have a very good chance to win, Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said last week. That continues to be the Ole Miss recipe in the college baseball postseason.
Junior right-hander Dylan DeLucia held Auburn to one run on four hits with no walks and struck out 10 to lead the Rebels to a 5-1 victory at the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, on Saturday night. DeLucia (7-2) threw seven and two-thirds innings for the win.
Auburn at least scored against the Rebels. An RBI single by Bobby Peirce in the seventh inning off DeLucia cut Ole Miss’ lead to 5-1 and was the first run allowed by Rebels’ pitching since the seventh inning of a 22-6 win over Arizona on June 6 in the Super Regional championship game in Coral Gables, Florida.
Ole Miss won 10-0 and 5-0 at Southern Mississippi last week in the Super Regional to advance. The Rebels’ bullpen did not allow a run in the NCAA Regional at Coral Gables.
Even with that bullpen, Bianco did not take DeLucia out in the seventh with two runners on and no outs after Peirce’s single.
“No, he has confidence in me,” DeLucia said. “He just told me, ‘Listen, pound the zone and try to get out of here without giving up another run.'”
And that’s exactly what he did. DeLucia struck out the next batter, Brooks Carlson, looking, then got Brody Moore to fly out to right field and Kason Howell to pop up to second base.
“He’s just almost been flawless out there,” Bianco had said to ESPN after the fifth inning in a dugout interview. “Really locating the fastball both sides. Filling up the strike zone with the breaking ball. You can tell, he’s just really keeping them off balance.”
Josh Malitz did relieve DeLucia in the eighth with two outs and finished the game with three strikeouts, no hits and no walks.
The Rebels (38-22) will play their second SEC West opponent in three days in Arkansas (44-19) at 7 p.m. eastern time Monday on ESPN.
Arkansas defeated No. 2 overall seed Stanford, 17-2, in the first game Saturday on 21 hits. Auburn (42-21) will play Stanford (47-17) at 2 p.m. Monday on ESPN in an elimination game.
The schedule for Sunday at the CWS opens with Texas A&M playing Texas in an elimination game at 2 p.m. on ESPN after each lost on Friday. Oklahoma and Notre Dame play at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 in the winners’ bracket.
Ole Miss won a College World Series opener for the first time since June 9, 1956, when it beat New Hampshire, 13-12. The Rebels lost opening games in every other trip to Omaha – 1964, ’69, ’72 and in 2014.
The Rebels took a 2-0 lead in the first inning after two outs against Auburn starter Joseph Gonzales, who took the loss to fall to 7-4. Tim Elko singled and Keven Graham doubled before a two-run single by Kemp Alderman.
Graham hit a two-out home run in the third for a 3-0 lead.
The Rebels extended their lead to 5-0 in the sixth on an RBI single by TJ McCants and a bases-loaded, double-play grounder by Peyton Chatagnier.
Auburn second baseman Cole Foster left the game in the fifth inning due to illness. Auburn coach Butch Thompson said he had been sick throughout the day and tried to play.