Rollin' Again

Starter Trent Rothlin gave the Ole Miss bats time to wake up Sunday as he pitched six innings of two-hit, one-run baseball. The Rebels wound up rolling 13-2 to take the series from Louisiana-Monroe.

Rothlin got his first start in a Rebel uniform, and the junior juco transfer came through with the proverbial flying colors.

"I felt good," said the former Clemson pitcher who last season was a member of the Walters State (Tenn.) Community College team. "Obviously the walks were something I've got to work on this week to get ready for next weekend."

But other than those four free passes in the six frames, Rothlin was what a coach would want from a Sunday starter. The Hickory, N.C., native faced 24 batters, throwing 77 pitchers, and besides a leadoff home run by three-hole Warhawk Nick Wade in the fourth inning, ULM got nothing.

While Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said Rothlin was effective, he said he can still be better.

"I thought he was terrific on the mound but not his best," Bianco said. "His velocity was not what it can be and what it has been, and I don't think his command was there. But for his first outing here, I was proud of him. He pitched out of some jams. He's got good stuff, and that's why he can get out of some things like that."

The Rebels, who won 14-0 Saturday and lost 6-5 Friday, answered Wade's blast with a solo homer of their own in the bottom of the fourth when David Phillips launched his third round-tripper of the young season. The Rebs now have seven homers as a team. They had only 56 all last season.

"Of course I'm happy with my start," said Phillips, the senior outfielder who DH'ed Sunday. "I worked hard in the offseason, and I think it's paying off. It's good to have success like this, especially in front of all these Rebel fans who come out here. It's just been great."

Phillips, one of several bright spots on the weekend for Ole Miss, went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI Sunday and 6-for-9 with 6 RBI for the three games.

In the bottom of the sixth Sunday, the Rebels took the lead with two runs. A Tanner Mathis one-out RBI single scored Matt Smith who had walked. With two outs and the bases loaded, Kevin Mort walked to score Zach Miller who had reached on a base hit. It was 3-1 UM but there was more to come. Much more.

The Rebels broke the game wide open in the bottom of the seventh with 10 runs for an in surmountable 13-1 advantage. The Warhawks added a run in the top of the eighth for the final tally.

Ole Miss, which outhit ULM 14-4, actually had the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth with no outs but failed to add to its lead.

Brett Huber pitched two innings in relief for the Rebels, allowing one run on one hit with three strikeouts and no walks, his second appearance of the weekend. David Goforth made his season's debut as the closer and pitched the final frame, with a hit, a strikeout and no walks.

Rothlin got the win, while Corey Brown, the first of six Warhawk pitchers in the game, got the loss.

"It was a good finish to the weekend," Bianco said. "We struggled a little offensively earlyon (Sunday). We got hits, but much like Friday night we weren't able to put it together."

Since Friday night, however, the Rebels basically put it all together.

Next up is Arkansas State at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Oxford. Junior LHP Matt Tracy (6-foot-4, 212-pounds) from Des Peres, Mo., will get the start for the Rebs.


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