Lance Lynn pitches Rebs past UNO 4-0

It was the new Lance Lynn who pitched a shutout win against the University of New Orleans Sunday as Ole Miss won 4-0 to take the two-game series. The Rebels won Saturday 7-2.

Lynn, the sophomore right-hander from Brownsburg, Ind., was a fastball pitcher last season, and that was about it. "A thrower," as Lynn referred to himself.

In year two, the 6-foot-5, 260-pounder has much more to offer opposing hitters when he's on the mound for the Rebels. In five innings and some 80 pitches Sunday, Lynn showed why this season he's got even more stuff for those hitters to have to deal with.

"Felt great today," said Lynn after his five inning, three hit, one walk, six strikeout performance against the Privateers. "Good first outing for me. I struggled a little bit at times, but I battled back. I tried to pride myself this fall and in the preseason on not walking people. I walked way too many last year. I knew I had to cut down on that. I was trying to get ahead of people today, and that's what I need to continue to do."

Lynn's game has matured and it's obvious in every aspect.

"It's a different Lance Lynn this year," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "He's throwing more curve balls into the strike zone and more changeups into the strike zone. Even more than that, he has better coommand of his fastball. Last year he threw the fastball to the middle of the plate so much; probably 80 or 90 percent of his fastballs were thrown over the middle of the plate. And he probably threw 90 percent fastballs period. That shows you how dominant his fastball can be.

"Today he threw a lot of fastballs, worked both sides of the plate, and threw some curve balls into the strike zone," Bianco continued. "For the most part he stayed ahead and stayed out of bad counts and had only one walk. His pitch count was relatively small, five innings and 80 pitches. And that was with a 27-pitch first inning."

Lynn said he's much more confident now that he's got a lot more weapons in his arsenal.

"I'm able now to mix it up a good bit," said Lynn, who was 7-3 as a freshman last season with 18 appearances and 15 starts. "That's something we're doing now is mixing my pitches up and I'm able to throw strikes. So that's good for me and the team."

Ole Miss scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning today. Freshman first baseman Andrew Clark led off the frame with a single. C.J. Ketchum followed with a single, and Clark advanced to third on an error by the UNO centerfielder. Cody Overbeck flew out to right allowing Clark to score as Ketchum moved to second.

After Logan Power flew out to left, Jordan Henry reached on an error while Ketchum moved over to third. Brett Basham's single past third base scored Ketchum, while Henry was thrown out at third base trying to advance.

Power led off the fifth with a double, and a Jordan Henry bunt moved him to third as Henry reached safely. Brett Basham flew out to left to score Power.

In the seventh Basham again sac flied, this time to center field, again scoring Power who had reached on a walk and moved to third on a hit and run single by Jordan Henry. That completed the scoring for the day.

Craig Rodriguez relieved Lynn after five and pitched three innings, allowing two hits and no runs with a strikeout and no walks. Scott Bittle finished the game, pitching the last inning with a walk and three strikeouts.

Bianco said he was generally pleased with his team over the two days.

"Good weekend," Bianco said. "It's always good to win. Two good days on the mound. Obviously today we didn't swing the bats as well as we'd have liked. We played good defense both days. Just a little inconsistent offensively, and that's going to happen. But we have to do a better job offensively."

Bianco said he's trying some things offensively early in the season, and it doesn't always work out.

"There were some innings we missed some signals, and there were some times we didn't execute some things," he said. "We ran into a couple of double plays, and all of that is part of it. We're trying to be aggressive offensively, and in doing so, sometimes it backfires. We'll go back to work this week and try to do some things better."

Jordan Henry was 3-for-3 on Sunday with a stolen base. Bianco said the freshman right-fielder is off to a good start.

"Jordan showed what a dimension he brings to the team, solid outfield play, good running on the base paths, bunting and doing a lot of things to put pressure on the defense," Bianco said. "A good start for him this weekend."

Bianco made this statement on sophomore RHP Cody Satterwhite, who has been rehabbing his sore throwing shoulder/arm: "He's thrown well (in the bullpen) and has thrown pain-free for three days. He will continue to throw and maybe toward the end of the week he can get on the mound."

Bianco said Satterwhite will not pitch in the upcoming three-game series against Evansville in Oxford this weekend.

One interesting note from the weekend. In two games the Rebels did not strike out a single time.

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