OXFORD, MS. (WMBB) – Former Northwest Florida baseball ace, Dylan DeLucia, attributes much of his success at the MCWS with Ole Miss to his time spent in the Panhandle Conference.

On June 26, DeLucia was named the MCWS Most Outstanding Player following his performance to help lead Ole Miss to their program’s first College World Series victory.

DeLucia played at Northwest Florida in the 2020 and 2021 seasons and said that his time as a Raider helped prepare him for the biggest stage in baseball.

“There’s a saying in JUCO, the Panhandle Conference is the SEC of college baseball, it’s the SEC of division one (JUCO),” Delucia said. “The Panhandle Conference is the best conference in the country, just like the SEC is the best conference in the country.”

The junior pitcher said he is very thankful to have spent time developing at the junior college level, and that he can see why more players are going that route.

“It’s really cool to see because JUCO was that special place for me, and still is that special place for me,” DeLucia said. “But I will say though, you look at JUCO now, five years ago no one wanted to go JUCO, you see it now, everybody wants to go JUCO.”

“JUCO is one of those places where you can be a one-and-done deal or it teaches you everything,” DeLucia said. “Maybe you didn’t get the money you wanted in this draft, so go prove it at JUCO real quick, go the next year, stuff like that. Or, ‘I wanted to go SEC, I didn’t get the SEC offer,’ well go to JUCO, go prove yourself, get an offer from the SEC.”

DeLucia has his eyes now on the upcoming MLB draft but said he will be more than happy to return to Ole Miss if his name is not called.