Hitting Barrage

Almost a season and a half into his Ole Miss career, Kevin Mort finally went yard. His third-inning three-run shot over the left center wall at Swayze was only part of an offensive explosion for Ole Miss as the Rebels beat Saint Louis 14-5.

"I wasn't sure, so I was sprinting out of the box," said Mort, the senior shortstop, who mentioned it had been since his freshman year of junior college that he'd hit one out of the park in a "real" game. "I looked up and saw both outfielders running back toward the wall, and I was wondering if it was going to go out or not. Fortunately it did."

In that third inning, trailing 1-0, Ole Miss (17-5) sent 13 men to the plate and scored seven runs to take a lead it would never relinquish.

Down 7-1, the Billikens (11-11) got back in it in the top of the fourth, scoring four runs, highlighted by a two-run homer from Jon Myers that closed the gap to 7-5.

Starter Rory McKean managed to get through that fourth inning before giving way to Trent Rothlin to start the fifth. The fifth-year Rebel righty allowed five runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and two walks.

"It was tough for Rory to get through their lineup a few times," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "He lost his command a little bit, and they'll make you pay. They're very good offensively. Rothlin pitched well tonight also."

The junior right-hander pitched three innings with no runs or hits and with three strikeouts and a walk.

David Goforth, struggling mightily the last few outings, pitched the last two innings. He allowed no runs on one hit with two walks and five strikeouts.

"David struggled a little bit. I think he felt it a little bit in the eighth," Bianco said. "But we talked about it between the eighth and the ninth, and he came back in the ninth. We talked about getting a little more depth on his breaking ball to be able to mix more breaking balls in and not have people hunt his fast ball. He pitched more like that in the ninth inning, and really he was a totally different guy in the ninth. The ball was coming out of his hand more confidently, with more depth and more break if you watch from the side with the breaking ball. It happens when he doesn't even throw it as hard. It's actually at 80-81 rather than like an 84-85 mile an hour breaking ball."

Bianco continues to like what he sees from his hitters.

"A good offensive night for us tonight," said Bianco after his team pounded Billiken pitching for 19 hits. "Saint Louis really swings it and puts a lot of pressure on you. But we were able to continue to score runs and extend the lead and put the game away with our offense."

Saint Louis had 10 hits in the game.

Matt Snyder, his arm in a sling - again - after his second shoulder dislocation, which occurred at Pearl Tuesday night, said he is hopeful of being able to DH this weekend. But that remains to be seen, according to Snyder and Bianco.

Matt Smith is likely to be able to play this weekend as he still recovers from a hamstring pull suffered last Wednesday in practice. He wouldn't play outfield but would play first base most likely.

"I'm proud of the way we've swung the bats, even without Matt Smith," Bianco said. "Over the last five games, even without Matt Smith, we've done a great job offensively. So many guys throughout the lineup have done well. Zach Miller continues to rack up the RBI. Of course Mort's swinging it great the last three or four games."

Mike Snyder, playing first base Wednesday night, was 3-for-5 with three RBI, as was Mort. Miller was 3-for-5 with two RBI.

Rothlin (3-1) got the win, and Mike Schrader (0-1), the SLU starter, got the loss.

Ole Miss hosts Florida at 6:30 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday.

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