McArthur in the SEC mix

Freshman right-hander James McArthur had another strong start for Ole Miss last night.

McArthur was in the mix last fall to earn one of the SEC rotation spots before he sustained a broken foot in an accident while moving out of his dorm at the end of the semester.

He’s settled into the role as No. 1 starter for the non-conference games, but he was a little shaky at first, unable to pitch past the third inning in either of his first two starts.

Lean and strong at 6-foot-7, he’s gotten better.

Last night in the Rebels’ 7-0 win over Memphis McArthur went seven scoreless innings. He scattered four hits, walked two and struck out seven.

Now he’s back in the mix for SEC innings.

“His time is coming. He warmed up today and would have pitched today,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said Sunday after the Rebels’ bullpen failed in a 7-2 loss at Alabama that clinched the series for the Crimson Tide.

McArthur has been really good for the month of April.

In three starts he’s totaled 18 1-3 innings with only one run allowed. He’s given up 14 hits with five walks and 17 strikeouts.

Pitching wasn’t the Rebels’ primary problem at Alabama, but it was the glaring factor on Sunday. Even though Ole Miss hit just .192 for the series the Rebels were right there in a 1-1 game in the fifth inning when three bullpen pitchers allowed six runs. The series was there for the taking.

You can say the offense should have scored more, and you’d be right.

But you can never have enough pitching, a fact driven home in Game 3 at Alabama. It will be interesting to see how McArthur factors into the mix moving forward.

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.

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