Storm Chasers

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Drew Pomeranz got a lot of help from his teammates in the form of some early runs, and Ole Miss moved on to day two with a 10-5 win against St. John's.

The Rebels play Virginia, a 15-4 winner over Virginia Commonwealth, at 6 p.m. ET Saturday. The Red Storm and Rams play at 1 p.m. ET.

"I thought we played well tonight," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco after his team moved to 39-22. "Drew with seven shutout innings continues to amaze me in a brilliant career that he's had. Offensively I thought we were terrific. We only had single digit hits, but I thought we were very efficient offensively."

Everybody remembers three home runs on the night for Ole Miss, but before that the Rebels played some successful small ball. Ole Miss had gotten on the board with two runs in the second inning. It was actually that inning that set the tone for the Rebels in this one.

Zach Miller singled, and Taylor Hashman successfully bunted to put runners on first and second. Alex Yarbrough sac bunted them to second and third respectively, and a Kevin Mort ground out to short got Miller home.

Tanner Mathis, in left field for this game, stepped up and tripled into the right center gap to get Hashman in.

Then the Rebs turned to the long ball as Pomeranz and the Rebel defense continued to keep the Red Storm off the scoreboard until late in the contest.

Miles Hamblin led off the third with a blast to the right field scoreboard and it's 3-0. In the fourth Alex Yarbrough sent one over the right field wall, followed by a two-run shot from Tim Ferguson to left after Mort had reached on a double.

At 6-0 after four innings, it was quite an offensive start for a team that had struggled to score runs for most of the past month.

Tim Ferguson

"It was real important," said Ferguson of the fast start. "Our offense had been struggling and to have two freshmen (Yarbrough, Mathis) come out big today was huge. That really set the tone for the rest of the game. Everyone started swinging harder, and balls started flying out of the park."

The score reached 7-0 after the bases were loaded with three straight walks in the sixth when Yarbrough sent a fly ball to left to get Matt Snyder home.

Pomeranz departed in the eighth after he gave up a single and a walk. But the Rebel ace allowed just two earned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and three walks.

"I struggled to find my rhythm a little toward the beginning of the game," he said. "But after I got settled in a little bit, it all came together out there on the mound."

St. John's head coach Ed Blankmeyer said although Pomeranz (9-2 with the win) is a sensational pitcher, he felt his team had a shot to get to him but couldn't.

Drew Pomeranz

"We had opportunities to jump this guy and didn't take advantage of it," he said after his team fell to 40-19. "We let him off the hook. I thought he was good, but I thought he was susceptible tonight. We just didn't take advantage of it."

The Red Storm used seven pitchers in the contest with starter Kyle Hansen (8-2) getting the loss.

Hansen went four innings allowing six runs on seven hits with three strikeouts.

"The bottom line is the home run ball hurt us early, and the walks hurt us late," Blankmeyer said.

After Hansen, six SJU pitchers walked nine Rebels. Both teams had nine hits in the contest.

"I know we only had nine hits, but I thought we were very efficient offensively tonight," Bianco said.

Bianco called on Eric Callender to relieve Pomeranz, but the junior righty couldn't finish. The Red Storm got a three-run home run off Callender on the first pitch the junior righty threw. Jeremy Baltz, St. John's leading homer hitter with 21 now, welcomed him to the game with a blast to left.

But that was all the Red Storm would get in the frame as Callender got out of it with a fly ball, a ground out on a spectacular play by Yarbrough, and another fly ball.

The Rebs got three runs in the eighth and threatened to get more. Matt Snyder walked with the bases to make it 8-3. Hashman singled to right to get another couple of runs home and it was 10-3.

In the top of the ninth, Callender ran into trouble and the Storm scored two runs. With the bases loaded and two outs, Rory McKean came in and got the last out of the contest, a ground out to Yarbrough to end it. It was his first save of the season.


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