OXFORD – Tonight’s game on the fourth and final day of the Oxford Regional could see both Ole Miss and Western Kentucky use their Game 1 starters.
That will definitely be the case for the Rebels, who will send sophomore left-hander Drew Pomeranz to the mound at the start.
Pomeranz threw 109 pitches in an eight-inning performance in the Rebels’ 8-1 opening night win over 4 seed Monmouth.
It was an unusually long performance for Pomeranz, who pitched into the seventh inning just once over the last two months of the regular season.
“Drew said he felt fine and could have gone an inning today if we’d needed him,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “This is one of those things you do when you get to this point. You used to see this when the regionals were set up differently. I’m sure there will be a lot of people who want the ball.”
Bianco said everyone will be available except Brett Bukvich, who started Sunday’s game.
Western Kentucky coach Chris Finwood said his Friday starter, right-hander Matt Ridings, will be available, but he did not say in what capacity he might be used.
Ridings threw 61⁄3 innings in the Toppers’ 11-5 opening-day win over Missouri.
– Chad Cregar’s sixth-inning home run against Ole Miss on Saturday was the first hit of the regional for the Oxford native. It put him on a bit of a roll.
In two games Sunday, Cregar was 8-for-10 with five RBIs. In the Toppers’ 11-6 win over Missouri he was 4-for-5 with a mammoth home run that reached the tennis courts beyond the right field party section. Against Ole Miss he was 3-for-5.
– Western Kentucky improved to 6-7 in NCAA tournament games and to 3-3 in all games vs. Ole Miss. … WKU junior Wade Gaynor had a stolen base against Missouri and in doing so became the school’s first player to record 20-plus home runs and 20 or more steals in the same season. …Gaynor has three home runs in the regional. … Ole Miss is now 17-15 in NCAA tournament games under Mike Bianco, including 11-3 at home. … Outfielder Jordan Henry has been one of the Rebels’ steadiest players in the regional, going 6-for-12 with three runs scored and four RBIs.
Parrish Alford/ NEMS Daily Journal