OXFORD – Drew Pomeranz, welcome to the show. A sophomore southpaw from Collierville, Tenn. just etched his name among some of the best to take a collegiate mound, one of the best nights anyway.
He threw eight innings on Friday night in an 8-1 win against Monmouth.
On Monday, Ole Miss needed him again and he delivered.
Pomeranz, who throughout the season, saw his breaking point in the fifth or sixth inning, gave the Rebels nine, nine innings of two-hit ball and 16 strikeouts.
His performance drew high praise from within his camp and without as well.
“A legendary performance by Drew Pomeranz,” said Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco after the game. “We knew that he was that type of guy, that would give you that type of Curt Schilling, bloody sock performance that people that were here will remember for the rest of their lives. What can you say?”
Western Kentucky third baseman Wade Gaynor, the Hilltoppers home run and RBI leader, had plenty to say about the performance.
“It was just a battle every time you got in the box,” Gaynor said. “I’m going to go ahead and say it. That was the best pitcher I’ve seen this year. He’s really good.”
Western Kentucky was held to one run for just the second time this season. The other time came in a 3-1 loss at Florida Atlantic on April 24. After 20 hits last night in a comeback 10-9 win to force Monday’s game, the two hits Pomeranz allowed was 10 shy of the 11.8 the Hilltoppers average.
Pomeranz set a record of his own. He broke his strikeout mark previously at 11. The 16 strikeouts tied the Ole Miss school record. Even Western Kentucky’s one run was unearned. He became the 10th Ole Miss pitcher to eclipse the 100 strikeout mark when he struck out the side in the first inning. He is sixth on the all-time school list and has 114 strikeouts this season.
“His curveball was one of the best left-handed curveballs we’ve seen all year,” said Western Kentucky right fielder Chad Cregar, an Oxford native. “He was just painting. He had a heavy fastball tonight. He was the same pitcher the last inning that he was the first inning.”
Brandon Speck is the sports editor of the Monroe Journal.