June 4, 2010
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Pomeranz Pitches Rebels
Past Red Storm
By Sean Ryan
Va. – A year ago, Ole Miss’ hopes for
a trip to the College World Series were dashed by Virginia,
which took two of three from the homestanding Rebels in the
Ole Miss gets its chance at a little payback.
Drew Pomeranz (right) allowed two earned runs and
struck out five over seven innings, and Tim Ferguson, Miles
Hamblin and Alex Yarbrough each homered as the Rebels disposed
of St. John’s 10-5 in the nightcap of the Charlottesville
Regional. Ole Miss will meet top-ranked Virginia Saturday night
in a winners’ bracket contest; St. John’s meets VCU in an
“After last year how it ended up, we’re excited
to get a rematch and all that kind of stuff,” said Ferguson,
whose two-run homer in the fourth gave the Rebels (39-22) a 6-0
Added Pomeranz: “We’re definitely excited about
playing them tomorrow.”
Pomeranz (9-2) is a big
reason for the rematch.
Admittedly pitching without his best command, the
lefty ran into a scrappy St. John’s lineup that squared plenty
of balls up and had some opportunities to do some damage early.
Down 3-0, Scott Ferrara doubled to lead off the third. Matt
Wessinger hit a sharp comebacker to Pomeranz, who turned to
check Ferrara and found that he had taken a couple steps toward
third. The SEC Pitcher of the Year fired a bullet to shortstop
Kevin Mort, who tagged Ferrara and still had time to double up
Wessinger at first.
In the fourth, Jimmy Parque and Paul Karmas
singled off Pomeranz. Again, the lefty made a big pitch, getting
Sean O’Hare to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. A two-hop
groundout to third baseman Zach Miller ended the inning.
“I didn’t have my best command toward the
beginning because I was trying to find my rhythm,” Pomeranz
said. “What helped me out tonight, when I got in those jams, I
got a double-play ball and I was able to make pitches.”
The Red Storm (40-19) sent 18 batters to the
plate and reached base eight times in the first four innings.
“We had opportunities to jump this guy and we
didn’t take advantage of it…we let him off the hook,” St. John’s
coach Ed Blankmeyer said. “I thought he was good, but I thought
he was susceptible tonight. We just didn’t take advantage of
Ole Miss, meanwhile, did the opposite off Kyle
Hansen (8-2). Miller (2 for 4) singled and moved to second on a
bunt single by Taylor Hashman (2 for 3, 2 RBI) – Hashman’s
attempt at a sacrifice had backspin that Red Storm catcher Joe
Witkowski slightly overran then hesitated on the throw. After a
sacrifice bunt from Yarbrough, Mort plated a run with a grounder
to short. Tanner Mathis, starting for the first time in about a
month, tripled in Hashman for a 2-0 lead.
The Rebels added on with a solo homer from Miles
Hamblin to lead off the third, and Yarbrough hit (solo) and
Ferguson (2-run shot) went deep in the fourth.
Leading 7-0, Pomeranz ran into trouble in the
eighth when Wessinger singled and Joe Panik walked to start the
inning. Pomeranz made way for Eric Callender after 112 pitches.
Callender’s first pitch was drilled over the left-field wall by
Jeremy Baltz, his 21st homer of the year.
“Tonight, with maybe nine or 10 days rest, he
probably wasn’t as sharp with his command,” Rebels coach Mike
Bianco said. “It’s amazing how critical we are of him.”
The Rebels added three more in the eighth, with
Hashman’s two-run single to right being the big blow.
And now, they get the chance to face the team
that ended their season a year ago. Leading the Super Regional
series 1-0, Ole Miss led Virginia in the bottom of the eighth by
a run but couldn’t close out the Cavaliers, who won Games 2 and
3 to advance to Omaha.
“I didn’t fall into that, like the other guys,”
Bianco said. “To me, each year is different. I don’t look at
they-beat-us-last-year kind of thing…to me, we’re facing the No.
1 team in the country. That’s what I saw when the pairings came
“They’re very impressive. They’re a better club
than they were last year.”
(photo by Jimmy Jones)