By: Jeff Roberson
Holt Perdzock hit his first college home run last Saturday when Ole Miss beat Georgia 7-3. But it wasn’t his first big moment as a Rebel and, if history tells us anything, it won’t be his last.
Perdzock is a veteran of the program who will forever be linked to one shining moment on a Monday night in June, 2014, in Lafayette, La. You remember, the night that a victory sent Ole Miss to the College World Series.
If it’s a bit hazy for you as to just how it happened, here are a couple of paragraphs from the recap Bill Bunting, then of Ole Miss athletics, wrote in the postgame. At the time Ole Miss led 6-4.
…..The Rebels added insurance runs in the ninth with a big at bat from pinch hitter Holt Perdzock. With the bases loaded and no outs, Perdzock drove a full count pitch into the corner in right field for a double, driving in two runs while a fielding error allowed a third run to score and Perdzock to sprint to third.
Down 9-4, ULL made another pitching change and J.B. Woodman drove a sac fly to left field to bring Perdzock home and take the lead out to six runs before another pitching change for the Cajuns. Ole Miss would manage no more runs in the inning, however, heading to the bottom of the ninth up 10-4…..
The Rebels closed the game out and moved on to Omaha. Everyone remembers that.
That Perdzock had never hit a home run in college might have come as a bit of a surprise when he launched one last weekend. It even did for his head coach, Mike Bianco.
“I wasn’t exactly sure,” Bianco said of that moment which gave the Rebels a four-run advantage in the sixth inning of game two. “I knew it was his first home run of the season. He’s been here a while and had so many big hits.”
Indeed he has, a role player who has entered games to help the Rebel cause for four seasons. Perdzock has played in 134 games, starting 36, in his college career to this point.
“You never get tired of recalling the big triple down in Lafayette,” Bianco said. “But so many big hits, so many of them off the bench. Now another one at Georgia to extend the lead.”
That first home run was special according to the Memphis University School product.
“That’s one of the better balls I’ve hit in a while,” said Perdzock, who hit .324 during the Rebels’ CWS season in 2014 and is batting .242 so far this season. “It was good to get that first one, finally.”
It’s May and soon to be June as the Rebels (36-13 overall, 14-10 SEC) are in the hunt to host a NCAA Regional and continue their season as late as they can. Perdzock always seems to be at his best this time of year.
“I try to do the same thing throughout the whole year,” he said. “But I do think people remember me for that hit (in Lafayette) back in my sophomore year.”
Bianco said the Georgia series, where the Rebels won the first two games but lost the third, was “a mixed bag,” according to his evaluation.
“We played pretty well the first two days in all three phases. We pitched OK, especially out of the bullpen. Offensively very good with runners on, very good especially with runners in scoring position. The timely hit was there. And we fielded really well.”
Perdzock, graduating this weekend, said Ole Miss is looking forward to the series with the Wildcats (29-20 overall, 13-11 SEC).
“We’re feeling really good,” he said. “We’ve won a few series in a row now. We didn’t play too well on Sunday. We’ve got a lot of older guys, and a lot of younger guys who are doing their part, too. I think people are just feeling good this time of year.”
Perdzock’s favorite time of year, or at least as far the most memorable moments of his college baseball career.
“Every team is different,” he said of any comparison to the team two years ago that finished third in the country. “Like that 2014 team, we’ve got a really good bullpen this year, and we’ve got good starters. Lot of older guys in the lineup that have been here a while and know what they’re doing. So there are some similarities.”