Smith back in Sunday starter role

Sam Smith will be the Rebels’ Sunday starter this week against Vanderbilt, Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco told us yesterday.

Smith had been the Game 3 starter in place of Chris Ellis while Ellis was out injured with an abdominal strain.

Prior to the Texas A&M series Bianco said it would take some time before Ellis – who Bianco believes is one of the staff’s more talented pitchers – could resume his role as the starter. Bianco saw something somewhere that caused him to move up that timetable, and Ellis started at Florida but lacked control.

He gave up four hits, four runs – three earned – and four walks in 2.1 innings.

“Physically Chris is fine. He has another outing, and the abdomen seems to be fine. The arm, you see the velocity, it’s there. There were just too many walks. You can’t walk four or five guys in any outing,” Bianco said. “We hurt him in the first (defensively). That’s not the way you draw it up in the first SEC start. If we catch it better, let him get his feet on the ground … He came out the next two innings in innings two and three and walked the leadoff guy. You can’t do that in this league and be successful.”

Bianco said Ellis needs to improve on both his mechanics and his mental approach right now.

“Whatever it is we’ve got to figure it out. You can’t go out there and walk people.”

Smith is 2-0 with a 3.51 ERA. He has seven walks in 25.2 innings compared to Ellis’ nine walks in 7.1 innings.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

Posted in Baseball
  • JB

    I watched the games at Florida on TV – Really think OM was its worse enemy there, errors, unearned runs putting their pitchers in a hole and handcuffing them. Turner had a bad weekend at bat he came to bat with bases loaded with 2 out and the long ball would have tied Saturdays game at 4 all but went down on strikes. Gators went on and scored three more runs later in the game for a 7-0 shutout. Outstanding pitching for the Gators by Crawford. I feel that OM will recover and have a very good season – the season is only half over – so there is plenty time left to get it going . JB

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