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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rebs bounce back with lopsided win

Less than 24 hours after losing a heartbreaking 6-1 game to Louisville in 12 innings on Friday, the Ole Miss baseball team rebounded to win Game 2 of the three game series 8-3 on Saturday at Oxford-University Stadium.

Ole Miss opened the game “locked in,” scoring six runs in the first two innings off of Louisville starter Dean Kiekhefer.

Ole Miss starting pitcher Aaron Barrett (3-0) continues to pitch with dominance. In 6.2 innings (a career long), Barrett struck out nine (also a career-high), while surrendering three runs on six hits and four walks.

Right-hander Eric Callender entered the game in the seventh inning and was able to pitch 2.1 scoreless innings, striking out 3-hole hitter Ryan Wright looking with the bases loaded to end the game.

Sophomore catcher Taylor Hightower led Ole Miss at the plate going 3-for-4.

Coach Mike Bianco made a few tweaks to his roster today, starting Taylor Hashman in the 2-hole and playing him in LF, with Tim Ferguson moved to the 3-hole in the lineup, and Smith (who was playing first base) bumped back to the cleanup spot.

FRIDAY RECAP (6-1 Louisville)
As Louisville head coach, and former Ole Miss assistant, Dan McDonnell predicted, Friday’s game came down to timely hitting.

With both teams tied at 1-1 through the first 11 innings, Louisville was able to get to Ole Miss closer David Goforth in the 12th inning, hanging five runs on the sophomore right-hander.

The game started out as the pitcher’s duel it was advertised as.  In 6.1 innings of work, Ole Miss starter Drew Pomeranz struck out 12 batters, while surrendering just one run on three walks and three hits.

Relief pitcher Brett Huber also looked good, pitching 4.1 scoreless innings while striking out five and walking two.

Louisville closer Neil Holland earned the win, striking out four in 2.1 scoreless innings.

Louisville starter Thomas Royse struggled somewhat with his command in the game. The right-hander entered the game with just three walks in three previous starts. Against Ole Miss, he walked seven in 6.1 innings.

Because of his lack of playing time this season, I asked Mike Bianco before Thursday’s practice about Kyle Barbeck’s playing time. This is what he had to said:

“I’m not sure yet (if Barbeck is going to redshirt). Kyle is working. There is going to come a time at some point where we’re going to make sure that that’s what we’re going to do. What you don’t want to do is put him out there and not be able to pitch him again, and then you’ve wasted a year. We’ve got to be sure that when that time happens, the plan is to get him in often.”

That wasn’t exactly a definite response, but take the quote for what it’s worth. My guess is Barbeck doesn’t play this season (hence Tanner Mathis and David Phillips getting chances to eat up innings during the midweeks…)

Last season, Barbeck appeared in 11 games (one start) and had a 5.89 ERA with 15 strikeouts and 13 walks in 18.1 innings. Opponents were also hitting .342 off of him.

Tomorrow’s game is set for 12:30 p.m. Junior left-hander Matt Tracy will be making his first weekend start of his career for Ole Miss. Tracy is currently 1-0 with a 1.08 ERA, having struck out 19 and walked seven in 16.2 innings. (March 13, 2010)

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