Rebs even series with Saturday win

Drew Pomeranz and Scott Bittle held the keys to victory for the Rebels on Saturday as the duo pitched No. 16 Ole Miss (25-14, 10-7 SEC) to a 5-2 win over No. 10 South Carolina (28-11, 10-7 SEC) and evened the weekend series with the Gamecocks.

Pomeranz (4-1) picked up the win as he worked 6.0 innings and held the Gamecock offense to one run on four hits with five walks and five strikeouts. Bittle then picked up his fourth save of the season as he worked the final 3.0 innings, holding the Gamecocks to one run on two hits with three walks and five strikeouts, including a no outs, bases loaded predicament in the seventh that saw South Carolina only push one run across the plate.

Will Atwood (4-2) suffered the loss for South Carolina as he allowed two runs on seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

Cody Overbeck and Sean Stuyverson led the Rebel offense on the afternoon as Overbeck was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, three RBI and a home run. Stuyverson was 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.

"The guys really bounced back today, and you have to be able to do that in this league," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "We didn't play badly last night, South Carolina just played better than we did. Today we responded.

"Everyone is starting to realize that Scott Bittle may be one of the most dominant pitchers we've had come through the program at Ole Miss," Bianco said. "He gets thrown in the fire when he comes into games. I don't know if there is another pitcher who could handle the pressure the way he does."

South Carolina looked to mount a rally in the first as a single and a two-base error on the throw from Matt Smith at first allowed the leadoff batter to reach third. The Rebels got out of the inning without any damage, however, as Pomeranz coaxed the next three batters into fly outs to end the inning.

Ole Miss struck first, scoring in the third inning when Fuller Smith crossed the plate on a single through the left side from Overbeck. Smith walked to open the frame before moving to second on a wild pitch. A groundout into a double play from Logan Power allowed Fuller to move to third before the Overbeck single pushed him home and gave the Rebels the 1-0 lead.

Smoak opened the fourth with a double off the wall in right center for the Gamecocks before moving to third on a groundout from Darnell. But again, Pomeranz rose to the challenge and got the Rebels out of the inning as two strikeouts of the next three batters left Smoak stranded at third.

The Rebels added a second run in the sixth when Overbeck scored from second on a Sean Stuyverson single up the middle. Overbeck walked to open the inning before moving to second on a two-out single to left field from Kyle Mills. Michael Hubbard was inserted into the lineup to run for Mills before the Stuyverson hit. Brett Basham then singled up the middle to load the bases for Fuller Smith, who flew out to the wall in right field to end the inning with Ole Miss leading 2-0.

South Carolina again threatened in the sixth, putting runners at second and third with one out before Pomeranz got a pop out to a sliding Zach Miller at second and a strikeout to end the inning without any damage.

Ole Miss added to the lead in the seventh when Jordan Henry slid in under the tag at home on a hard hit grounder to short from Overbeck to put the Rebels up 3-0. Henry pinch ran for Jeremy Travis who was hit by pitch to open the frame. Henry then moved to third on a single from Logan Power that saw Power advance to second on the throw to the bag by the left fielder.

Back-to-back walks opened the Gamecock half of the seventh before the Rebels went to the bullpen for Bittle. Four pitches later, the bases were loaded as a third straight walk put Reese Havens at first. A single through the right side pushed a run across as South Carolina got on the board and cut the lead to two and kept the bases loaded with no outs.

The Rebels got the first out on a dribbler down the third base line from Smoak that Bittle scooped and threw home where Basham recorded the first out on the force play. Bittle then got James Darnell to strike out swinging for the second out of the inning. Bittle then got Phil Disher to go down swinging, keeping the Rebels in control with a 3-1 lead.

Ole Miss got the run back in the eighth when Stuyverson scored on a sac fly to left from Henry. Stuyverson singled to open the inning before moving to second on a sac bunt from Basham. He then moved to third on a single through the right side from Fuller Smith before scoring on Henry's fly out.

Overbeck added to the lead in the ninth, opening the frame with a solo home run to left field to push the Rebels out to a 5-1 lead.

South Carolina's Whit Merrifield opened the ninth with a single to right field before moving to second on catcher's indifference. He then advanced to third on a ground out to first from Smoak and scored on a groundout to third from Darnell. Bittle then got a strikeout of Disher to end the game an even the series with the Gamecocks.

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