Ellis Anxious For Omaha

Ole Miss Friday night starter, Chris Ellis, had a rough go of it in the first game of the Super Regional at Louisiana Lafayette, lasing only 2 1/3 innings, but his team roared back to take the series and vault Ole Miss to Omaha where Ellis will get a shot at redemption.

"I didn't want my last game in an Ole Miss uniform to be that game," Ellis, who was drafted by the Angels last week in the third round, said emphatically. "My teammates really picked me up by winning the last two games. I was really disappointed.

"I just couldn't throw strikes - it was one of those games you wish you would never have, but it happens in this game of baseball. I was just a little off, but a little matters. (Christian) Trent and Aaron (Greenwood) came out and shut them down in the second game and then we beat them with hitting and good outings by Sam (Smith) and Josh (Laxer) to close it out. I was glad my teammates bailed me out to give me another opportunity to do something special for this team."

Ellis said the whole Ole Miss team is excited about playing in the College World Series, as expected.

"We were picked toward the bottom of the SEC West in the preseason, but we have been showing people they are wrong all year," he said, smiling. "Why stop now? During intersquad games last fall and early spring, we felt like we would be pretty good.

"At first we weren't sure if we were struggling with pitching or a pretty good hitting team. We found out soon that our hitting was good, so we knew we could be a special team because we have a lot of live arms."

It's not certain that Ellis will start against Virginia Sunday, but it is expected. He's ready for whatever cards are dealt him.

"Whatever the coaches want, I will do," he said. "All I know is that I'm ready to get back out there and have a better showing. It's just a one day at a time deal for all of us right now. The coaches will let us know the plans in due time."

Ellis has been a rock as the Friday night starter, going undefeated in the regular season. And although he has a sterling 10-2 record, he is 1-2 in the postseason.

"I'm healthy and my mechanics are good. I just need to get back in a groove, which I intend to do in Omaha," he explained.

Being the Friday night starter carries weight at Ole Miss. Names like Lance Lynn and Drew Pomeranz roll off the tongue easily.

At first, that weight bothered him a bit.

"I was intimidated at first because I didn't know what to expect but I know how important the Friday starter is," he stated. "After I got my first SEC win out of the way - at South Carolina - I was very comfortable. I knew I could trust myself and the guys behind me to make plays and I knew our offense was always going to score runs."

His goal for the CWS? Simple.

"Throw strikes," he laughed. "I will be stoked. I hope it's me against Virginia, but if not, I know I will get my shot and I plan on executing."

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