CWS Semifinal Preview: Ole Miss and Arkansas set for rematch in Omaha
OMAHA — Ole Miss baseball gets a rematch with Arkansas tonight at 6:00 p.m. (CT) in Omaha.
The Hogs (45-20) enter the game on the brink of elimination after beating Auburn 11-1 yesterday and will have to beat the Rebels (39-22) twice to advance. A win for the Rebels will put head coach Mike Bianco’s team in the CWS Finals.
On the mound
Senior John Gaddis (3-1, 1 save) will start on the mound for the Rebs, marking his seventh start of the season. His last start came against Tennessee in late March.
“We’re not done by a long shot, baby!” — John Gaddis #HYDR https://t.co/NEpNauYPqW
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) June 22, 2022
On the season, Gaddis holds a 4.40 ERA with 43 strikeouts and 16 walks through 43 innings.
Although he didn’t start against Arkansas during the regular season, the Corpus Christi (Texas) native did pitch two-and-a-third scoreless innings in relief in game three of the series against the Razorbacks this year.
The 6-foot-0, 190-pound Gaddis looks to replicate his stellar outing on the mound versus UCF, where he pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out a season-high eight batters.
His last action came in the June 5, 22-6 victory over Arizona in the Coral Gables Regional. In that game, Gaddis worked two innings allowing one unearned run on two hits. He struck out four and walked none.
Beyond Gaddis, Ole Miss has plenty of arms remaining in the bullpen — including Josh Mallitz, Jack Dougherty and Brandon Johnson.
On the mound for the Razorbacks, Hagen Smith (6-2) will get the start (per D1 Baseball).
The Bullard, Texas native will be making his 15th start of the season. In 72.1 innings pitched, the freshman lefty has posted a 4.85 ERA with 82 strikeouts and 42 walks on the season.
Earlier this season in his start versus Ole Miss, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Smith threw six complete innings while giving up six hits, two earned runs and striking out eight.
At the plate
So far, the Rebs’ bats are hot in Omaha! Ole Miss has scored 18 runs over the first two games (against Auburn and Arkansas) and has notched 24 hits.
The Rebels’ team batting average at the College World Series is .316, with the one through five-hole Rebels going 16-for-46 (.348/.500/.44) in Omaha with 11 of the team’s 18 RBI.
- Bench 4-11, 2B, 2 RBI
- Gonzalez 3-10. 1 RBI
- Elko 2-9, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB
- Graham 5-9, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB
- Alderman 2-7, 2 RBI, 3 BB
Keeping the bats hot will be a big key against an Arkansas team that can also swing it well. The Hogs have tallied 33 runs off 46 hits through three games in this year’s CWS.
Ole Miss and Arkansas are set for first pitch at 6:00 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN.
(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss; Feature graphic: Nick Filipich, Rebel Walk)
Nick Filipich was born and raised in Biloxi, MS. He is an Ole Miss alum with a degree in Sports and Recreation Administration. A sports junkie with a great passion for all things Ole Miss, Nick played baseball and football in high school — which is where he discovered his love for sports. He is an avid Braves and Saints fan, and in his free time enjoys spending time with family, friends and his black lab, Dixie.