Last year, Ole Miss shocked the college baseball world as they won the College World Series after being one of the last at-large teams in the field. It came a year after rival Mississippi State also won the College World Series.
And, they’re off to a good start this year as well. Through the first two weekends, they sat at 6-1 and are ranked 4th in the country.
On Wednesday, the Rebels hosted Louisiana Tech for a midweek doubleheader. But, Ole Miss dropped the first game, 6-5.
The best college baseball teams still lose double-digit games every year, so no big deal. And, Ole Miss had a lead in the 2nd game through six innings, 4-3, when controversy erupted.
Louisiana Tech took a 5-4 lead in the 7th… A lightning delay was called.
By rule, the game reverted to the last completed inning. Ole Miss wins 4-3. Disgusting. pic.twitter.com/KazTeyxHP7
— 11Point7: The College Baseball Podcast 🎙 (@11point7) March 2, 2023
Here are some more details on the incident, courtesy of the Clarion Ledger.
Ole Miss baseball and Louisiana Tech jogged off Swayze Field on Wednesday afternoon with two outs in the top of the seventh inning when lightning was detected in the area. The Bulldogs had just scored two runs to turn a 4-3 Ole Miss advantage after six innings into a 5-4 Louisiana Tech lead.
They couldn’t know it at the time, but it was moot. When it was announced more than two hours later the game could not be resumed, Ole Miss was declared the winner. NCAA rules roll the score back to the last completed inning in these circumstances. The Rebels led 4-3 after six innings.
Here’s the relevant section from the NCAA rule book:
“It shall be a regulation game if called by the umpire at any time after five innings have been completed, and the score shall be that of the last equal inning played …”
There are various exceptions to the rule, but none of them apply in this scenario.
However, things get a little more tricky. Ole Miss did not tarp the field when the lightning came. So, when the rain came soon after, the field got drenched and it was a lost cause to finish the game.
FINAL/6 | #4 Ole Miss 4 #DiamondDogs 3
*Tech had scored 5 runs when baseball was played
*Ole Miss decided to not tarp the field, and it was ultimately deemed unsafe to play after the delay
— BleedTechBlue (@BleedTechBlue) March 2, 2023
Louisiana Tech put out a statement that sheds more light on the incident.
A statement from the LA Tech Athletics department pic.twitter.com/mnrlqaWWjy
— Diamond Dogs (@LATechBSB) March 2, 2023
Yeah, Ole Miss should’ve tarped the field. And, why won’t Ole Miss admin let the game be resumed at a later date? None of this makes any sense.
Congrats on the win Rebels, I guess.