OXFORD - Health wasn't an issue for Drew Pomeranz. It was visiting Kentucky that bled freely when Saturday's game was decided in the third inning.
Pomeranz missed his regular Friday start for Ole Miss with a stomach virus, sick and weak until near game time.
Less than 24 hours later he silenced Kentucky's bats to lead the 15th-ranked Rebels to a 10-3 win that secured the SEC series before a crowd of 7,910 at sun-drenched Swayze Field.
Ole Miss goes for the sweep at 1:30 today. The Rebels lost two previous Sunday games when they had a chance for a league sweep.
In winning on Saturday, Ole Miss (21-8, 7-4 SEC) batted around twice - once in third against Kentucky starter Chris Rusin - and set a season high with 16 hits, 15 of them singles. First baseman Matt Smith, 4-for-5 on the day, doubled in the eighth for the Rebels' only extra-base hit.
"It was a clean game for us. We were able to put together a big inning early against Rusin, which hasn't been our M.O.," Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. "We had some great at-bats, and we laid off some pitches. We had some good hits and some hits that found holes."
Ole Miss pitching has allowed four Kentucky runs through the first two games.
One of them was in the third inning Saturday when the Wildcats (18-11, 4-7) scratched against Pomeranz as leadoff hitter Chris Bisson, who reached on an infield single and scored on a wild pitch. Pomeranz hit the dirt in front of catcher Kyle Henson, and the ball bounced off of Henson and back into the infield grass.
The Rebels got back that run and plenty more in the bottom of the frame.
Ole Miss sent to the plate 11 batters who collected five hits, four of which drove in runs.
There was also a bit of small ball with a suicide squeeze bunt nicely executed by Zach Miller to drive in the fourth run.
Smith, Jeremy Travis, Tim Ferguson and Jordan Henry had RBI hits in the inning.
Rusin contributed to his own demise with three walks in the inning. He'd walked only eight in 42 innings when the day began. He lasted five innings with 10 hits, four walks and three strikeouts.
"We'll take singles. We just want as many hits as possible, if they're singles, they're singles," Smith said. "I think our approach is different. Our focus is a lot better than it was a times last year."
Pomeranz went 62/3 innings, giving up seven hits, three of them on the infield and none for extra bases. He threw 105 pitches, walked two and struck out eight.
Taking no chances
In the seventh, Bianco took no chances with Pomeranz' stamina and went to the bullpen at the first sign of trouble.
Pomeranz got the first two outs quickly, but then nine-hole hitter Chad Wright reached on an infield single, and the next man up, Bisson, bounced a chopper over third.
David Goforth hit 96 on the radar against Chris Wade before Wade flied to left to end the threat.
"I still felt great," Pomeranz said. "I think coach was worried about me, because I was sick yesterday and didn't have much on my stomach."
Bianco praised Pomeranz' effort, though not necessarily his efficiency.
"He was tremendous, but not because of his stuff. His command wasn't there, but he was able to grind it out and make the pitches when he needed to."
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