The first two nights of the 2019 Oxford Regional were mostly dominated by pitching performances.
Not on Sunday.
Junior left fielder Thomas Dillard started things off with a bang. Literally. He took the first pitch he saw deep to right center and gone to give Ole Miss a 1-0 lead. After a few bone head innings where the Rebels stranded base runners two-straight innings, the good guys poured it on.
The Rebs (40-25) clobbered 20 hits and scored five in the third, six in the fourth, and six more in the sixth to run away from the tired and overmatched Gamecocks. Lost in the game was yet another solid performance from true freshman Gunnar Hoglund. He turned in 5.1 innings of work, scattering five hits, striking out five, and walking zero.
Ole Miss dominated Jacksonville State, again, to the tune of 19-4 and will now head to the Super Regional round for the first time since 2014. That year, all they did was go on the road to defeat ULL, the No. 6-national seed, make it to Omaha, and finish 3rd overall in the country.
If that sounds familiar, well, it’s because the Rebels will have to do it again. This time it will be a familiar opponent:No. 5-national seed Arkansas. The two teams have played five times this year. Ole Miss won two-of-three in Fayetteville in the regular season and the two split two games in Hoover last month.
This team looked absolutely dead in the water at the end of the regular season. Then the SEC Tournament started and something clicked. Now, they’ve won three straight to win a regional for the first time in five years and will travel to Northwest Arkansas for a shot at making the College World Series for the 6th time in program history.