Fast Start

Drew Pomeranz and Eric Callender combined to two-hit Kentucky as Ole Miss beat the Wildcats 9-0 in Lexington Friday night to open the SEC season.

The two Rebel pitchers were effective the entire game as the Ole Miss offense gave them run support aplenty. The Rebels improved to 14-4 and UK fell to 14-4.

"We played well," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "We pitched really well. Drew maybe wasn't his sharpest tonight but was really dominant and his stuff was incredible. It makes it very difficult on the opposing team once you get a lead. He was strong the first two or three innings and then not as sharp in the middle. But at the end he was strong again and even hit 94 (mph) a couple of times in the sixth."

Pomeranz went six innings, allowing no runs on one hit with nine strikeouts and two walks.

"I struggled a little bit with my command tonight," the junior ace said. "I still felt I was able to make pitches when I needed to. I was relying on my fast ball early, and I switched to my curve ball later on."

But Bianco said the other side of the ball, so to speak, was where the Rebels shone the brightest. And that was without one of their top guns as Matt Smith is likely out all weekend with a pulled hamstring suffered in practice earlier this week.

"Tonight was about offense," he said. "A great offensive day for David Phillips. And how about Matt Snyder, who hadn't played in a couple of weeks. Faces lefty, lefty, their Friday night ace, and looks terrific, like he hasn't missed a beat. And Taylor Hashman has the big home run to get us going."

Matt Snyder was back in action for the first time in two weeks after suffering a dislocated shoulder at Tulane on Friday night.

Hashman got Ole Miss on the board in the top of the fourth with a leadoff solo home run to make it 1-0 Rebs. By the end of the inning Ole Miss led 3-0 as Phillips doubled to score Matt Snyder who had also doubled. Then Taylor Hightower grounded out to get Zach Miller home who had reached on a walk.

In the fifth after Kevin Mort doubled, Alex Yarbrough got Mort across the plate with a double of his own to make it 4-0.

Ole Miss extended its lead with a run in the sixth on yet another double by Phillips, which scored Matt Snyder who reached on a hit by pitch for a 5-0 lead.

But it was a four-run seventh as the Rebels batted around that put the nail in the Wildcats' coffin on this night. Up 9-0, Eric Callender came in and finished things up for Pomeranz the last three innings, allowing no runs on one hit, striking out three and walking two.

Pomeranz said he told Callender to challenge the Wildcat batters from the get-go.

"We were just going right at them." he said. "I told (Eric) to go right at them, that they were very aggressive. We both just went out there and challenged them with all our pitches and just went right after them."

UK's starter, Logan Darnell, had been impressive this season until the Rebels showed up. The Wildcat ace allowed five runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

"It's a really good feeling when you've got real good confidence in your offense and they're swinging it like they did tonight, especially off a guy who was pitching good," Pomeranz said. "We swung the bats really well."

Nobody was swinging it better than Phillips, who was 3-for-4 on the night with two doubles and three RBI.

"I think we did a really good job of going out there and getting after them, not letting them get ahead and being aggressive and swinging," Phillips said as he and his teammates accounted for 12 hits in the contest. "It was really good to come out and see our offense do what we did tonight."

Ole Miss sends RHP Aaron Barrett (4-0, 1.80 ERA) to the mound Saturday for a Noon CDT start. The Wildcats will start LHP Taylor Rogers (3-0, 4.30 ERA).


OM Spirit Top Stories