Lost in how Arkansas’ Chris Oliver kept the Rebels from putting together a big inning was how well Chris Ellis pitched today.
The Razorbacks have been much better offensively than they were the first two games in Oxford. Arkansas has won eight of its last nine going back to the Sunday game at Swayze because it’s had more hitting to support its pitching.
Ellis suffered his first loss today. What he and Christian Trent did in the regular season for Ole Miss was very impressive. Ellis went 9-0, Trent 8-0. They were a combined 13-0 in SEC play.
Ellis struggled in the first. He pitched himself into a bases-loaded no-out situation, but he did what he’s done most of this season. He made big pitches in a bad spot and limited the damage.
“It was not exactly the way I planned for it to work out. First innings have been a little bit of trouble for me all year. First guy, I hang a curve ball to him, and I almost fall on my face on the mound. I figure I would go ahead and throw it instead of balk, and I end up hitting a guy. They did a good job of capitalizing on it.”
When it looked like Ellis might have a short day, he pitched four straight scoreless innings before giving up a run in the sixth. The second run was ultimately his undoing.
He went 6.1 innings scattering seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Both runs were earned.
Scott Weathersby was again strong in relief, throwing 2.2 innings without a run. He gave up one hit, walked two and struck out three.
He’ll be remembered from this game for his diving catch of a popped-up bunt on an Arkansas squeeze attempt in the eighth. Weathersby made the play to his left and quickly got up and fired to third to double-up the runner.
Here’s Bianco on Ellis: “He minimizes. Bases loaded, no outs, and he does what he’s done all year long. He’s a guy I’ve gotten used to in a sense. I don’t know if he’s your typical guy that’s going to flash a lot of double-digit strikeouts. He just doesn’t give up runs. He makes pitches and gets out of innings. He’s smart and commands three pitches. Then he’s just a warrior out there. He just hangs out. Just like today. It looked like he probably wasn’t going to be out there long, but then he’s in there 100 pitches later.”