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Ole Miss Players Chasing Second Championship This Summer

07/29/2022 6:46 AM

Article By: Josh Schwam

From one dream to another, several members of the 2022 College World Series Champion Ole Miss Rebels have found their way to Cape Cod after an improbable run to glory in Omaha.

Roster shuffling is extremely common throughout the Cape League season, with players finishing their collegiate campaigns at different points in the first several weeks of play and others finding different outlets for summer competition.

Two pivotal members of the Rebels’ championship campaign have found their way to the Cape, with catcher/outfielder Calvin Harris playing in crucial innings for the Cotuit Kettlers and pitcher Josh Mallitz finding innings on the mound for the Wareham Gatemen.

Harris’ CWS efforts included two hits and an RBI while Mallitz pitched two innings of one run ball in relief during the series opening win for Ole Miss.

After the rush of the championship, Harris decided not to take much down time, opting to get to Cape Cod as quickly as possible, “It’s not really my style to relax,” Harris said. “I was in a good rhythm and wanted to continue playing as quickly as possible.”

In 12 games since his activation, Harris has been a key starter for Cotuit, hitting near the top of the order at .256 with 10 hits and an RBI and splitting time behind the plate and the outfield.

That attitude has been crucial for a Cotuit team that is in the middle of a playoff push. On Wednesday, they earned the top seed in the West back from the Hyannis Harbor Hawks following a 7-5 triumph at Lowell Park against Hyannis. The win also clinched the Patriot Cup for the Kettleers.

The victory, which earned Cotuit two points, catapulted the Kettleers into first place over Hyannis by a slim 47-46 lead. The two match up again tonight in Hyannis, with the Harbor Hawks able to take first place back with a win.

When Mallitz was activated on July 15, the Gatemen and the Falmouth Commodores had minimal separation in a battle for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West. Wareham currently is six points out of the playoffs with just five games left in the regular season and Mallitz knew the significance of the race he entered, “It was pretty easy to rewire myself.” Mallitz said. “I took some time off after the College World Series to let that sink in and I’m ready to help Wareham in whatever way I can.”

Mallitz has made three appearances for the Gatemen and struggled to find his rhythm, allowing seven runs in his 4.1 innings pitched, striking out four batters.

No matter how much happened between the dogpile in Omaha and their individual debuts on Cape Cod, baseball is still a simple game. Mallitz took the time to soak in the accomplishment and take a breather before heading north, “It was a dream come true.” Mallitz said. “I think taking a little time and letting it sink in was important for me to be successful.”

Every player has different nuances that allow them to be successful. Harris wanted to stay locked in and continue the high level of play that saw him be crowned a CWS champion, “I felt ready to help as soon as I came out here.” Harris said. “ Staying in the routine was good for me.”

For these two, there was little time to celebrate the title, because the Cape League Championship is up for grabs. Both teams are back in action tonight, with Cotuit at Hyannis in a battle for first place in the West while Wareham hosts the Brewster Whitecaps at Spillane Field.