Morgan 'likely done' for summer

Due to significant soreness in his throwing elbow, rising sophomore Jake Morgan's summer of competitive baseball has more than likely come to a premature end, Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said Monday.

The right-hander, who is spending the summer with the Columbia Blowfish of the Coastal Plain League, had an MRI performed on the elbow Monday and is expected to take some time off regardless of the result.

"Where we're at right now, Jake will probably come home and rest the elbow either way," Bianco said. "We don't know yet exactly what it is, but soreness in that area will always be taken seriously, especially for a pitcher. A little sore is one thing, but this is really sore.

"You can't chance it. He is likely done for the summer."

Morgan, one of Ole Miss' most consistent pitchers in 2008, has thrown only 4.1 innings for the Blowfish and is currently carrying a 10.38 ERA after allowing five runs on five hits. The Canton native has walked six batters and struckout three. Opponents are hitting .294, and Morgan has uncorked two wild pitches.

The setback is scary for the Rebels, as Morgan is arguably Ole Miss' best arm returning in the bullpen. After redshirting in 2007, Morgan moved up the depth chart throughout this past season and finished 5-0 with a 3.70 ERA and one save in 19 appearances.

Morgan struckout 38, walked 14 and opponents hit just .194 off him. After yielding six runs in just three innings against Mississippi State in the SEC opener, Morgan was dominant for the remainder of the year by filling up the strike zone and utilizing a hard slider as a difficult out pitch.

"We expect Jake to do big things next season," Bianco said two weeks ago. "He has the ability to throw strikes and eat up outs."

The Ole Miss Spirit will keep you updated on Morgan's status as it becomes known.

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