Well-Rounded Win

Drew Pomeranz wasn't his best on opening day. The second time around, however, he may have been better than he's ever been.

The junior left-hander went seven innings with 15 strikeouts and no walks, allowing just one earned run on four hits as Ole Miss defeated Oakland (Mich.) 9-1 Friday afternoon.

"I went out there last week and wasn't really confident with my pitches," said Pomeranz, who last Friday went just four innings with one earned run on four hits, two walks and seven strikeouts as Ole Miss lost to Louisiana-Monroe 6-5. "They were battling so much I couldn't really throw it where I wanted. I spent this week watching film and working on stuff in my bullpen. I felt a lot more confident and placed the ball where I wanted to today."

Ole Miss Coach Mike Bianco said the Rebel ace was at the top of his game.

"Pomeranz was very dominant, very sharp. About as sharp as I've seen him. When he's like that he makes it very difficult for the other team. Great fast ball velocity-wise tonight, but great fastball command tonight. He was able to work the ball in and out. Breaking ball was terrific. Even some changeups early, but after he started to roll we mostly went fast ball and breaking ball."

Matt Snyder carried the big bat into battle in this one for the Rebels. The sophomore first baseman launched two homers over the right field wall, the second one landing into the new terraces where a tennis court was until this season. He also added a double to left, which pleased his head coach.

"Great day by Matt Snyder," Bianco said. "Two big home runs and then an opposite field double. Real proud of that. He's worked real hard on hitting the ball the other way."

The Rebels, 4-1 on the season, led 2-0 when Grizzlies third baseman Mike Carson sent a solo shot into the left field terrace in the top of the third inning. But that would be the only run the visitors, opening their season, got all day.

Snyder sent his first one out of the park in the bottom of the third, blast that went into the visiting bullpen, a two-run homer that scored Matt Smith who had walked. Snyder wasn't sure it was gone.

"I thought it hit the fence, and I started running at first," he said, smiling. "Today was big for me because I am working on being a more complete hitter. I was able to keep my hands back and barrel the ball."

His first one was actually well over the fence, but not as far as his second one, a solo round-tripper in the bottom of the fifth into a welcoming cluster of Ole Miss students in their new section of seats.

His double came in the bottom of the sixth, scoring Smith again who had singled into right past the second baseman.

Bianco was equally pleased with a couple of other stats. The Rebels didn't have an error, and the pitchers – Pomeranz and reliever Jordan Cooper – didn't walk a single batter.

"A real clean game for us," he said. "That was a real key."

The left-handed Cooper, a freshman making his first appearance, went two innings with no runs, hits, walks, and with three strikeouts.

The Rebels outhit the Grizzlies 11-4, and Oakland had three errors on the day.

Pomeranz, with the win now 1-0, said he would have enjoyed finishing the game and trying to break the school strikeout mark for a single contest of 16 that he and two others – Jamey Price and Robert Earl Sidell – already share.

"I kind of wanted to, but we got some other guys in there," he said. "I was at 90 pitches. I was at 99 last week. I got some good work today, so that was a good number to come out on. I knew that was going to be it."

Matt LaMothe (0-1), the first of four OU pitchers in the game, got the loss.

Ole Miss and Oakland battle again Saturday at 1:30 p.m. RHP Aaron Barrett (1-0, 0.00 ERA) heads to the mound for the Rebels, while RHP Kyle Teague will get the nod for the Grizzlies.

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