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Friday March 26, 2010No. 17 Ole Miss Holds Off No. 2 Baseball, 3-2

Oxford, Miss.

Ole Miss redshirt freshman Brett Huber caught Florida freshman Austin Maddox (Jacksonville, Fla.) looking on strikes with the bases loaded in the ninth to end the game as the No. 17 Rebels (18-5/3-1 SEC) claimed the opener of their weekend series with the No. 2 Gators (17-4/3-1 SEC), 3-2, in front of 8,417 fans on Friday night at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. The loss ended UF’s season-high six-game winning streak.


With the Gators trailing 3-1 entering the final frame, freshman Kamm Washington (Boynton Beach, Fla.) led off with a pinch-hit single and Huber responded by striking out sophomore pinch hitter Tyler Thompson (Tequesta, Fla.). Washington stole second base and a grounder by freshman Mike Zunino (Cape Coral, Fla.) advanced him to third. Senior Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) earned a free pass for runners on the corners and sophomore Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach , Fla.) (2-for-5) roped a RBI single into center to narrow the gap to 3-2. Sophomore Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) and Huber waged an intense battle, with Tucker fouling off three two-strike offerings before drawing a walk to fill the bags. The righty countered with a strikeout of Maddox (2-for-5) to nail down his second save and preserve the triumph for junior All-American Drew Pomeranz (4-0).


It was quite a pitching duel between the left-handed starters, as Pomeranz registered nine strikeouts, scattered five hits and gave up one run over 7.1 innings and Gator sophomore Alex Panteliodis (Tampa, Fla.) (5-1) retired 15 of the final 16 UM hitters he faced in matching career-highs in both strikeouts (eight) and innings pitched (7.1)


The Rebels used a pair of two-out hits off Panteliodis to take a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Freshman Alex Yarbrough (2-for-4) started things with a single through the left side and moved into scoring position with a stolen base on a called strike three to senior Taylor Hashman. A fly ball by junior Tim Ferguson pushed Yarbrough to third base and redshirt junior Matt Smith followed with an RBI double into right center to open the scoring. Redshirt senior Zach Miller delivered a single into right field to bring across Smith with the second run.


Although UF loaded the bases against Pomeranz in the second, it failed to score. Maddox led off with a sharp single into left and a fielder’s choice by sophomore Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) resulted in two runners on base. A grounder by freshman Nolan Fontana (Winter Garden, Fla.) erased Adams at second and moved Maddox to third. Pomeranz fanned sophomore Ben McMahan (Windermere, Fla.) for the second out and Fontana swiped second base for a pair of Gators in scoring position. A walk to senior Jonathan Pigott (Ormond Beach , Fla.) loaded the bases before Pomeranz had Zunino ground out to strand the runners.


Ole Miss added another run in the bottom of the frame for a 3-0 advantage on a squeeze bunt by senior Kevin Mort that scored junior Miles Hamblin, who had launched a triple into right center field.


A two-out RBI double by Maddox in the third inning put the Gators on the board. den Dekker began the stanza with a single before Pomeranz retired the next two batters. Maddox roped his team-leading eighth two-bagger just inside of the first-base bag to score den Dekker all the way from first base. 


Pomeranz set down six hitters in a row, including five by strikeout, before Daniel Pigott doubled down the left-field line with two out in the fifth. The left-hander closed the inning with his second K of Tucker.


Zunino drew a one-out walk in the seventh and stole second base with two down for this third theft. Pomeranz had Daniel Pigott fly out to center field after a long at bat to preserve the 3-1 lead for the Rebels. After having Tucker ground out to begin the eighth, Pomeranz was replaced by Huber (1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 K). Adams drew a two-out walk before the right-hander had Fontana fly out to left.


Panteliodis retired 15 consecutive Ole Miss hitters before surrendering a one-out single to Yarbrough in the eighth. Sophomore Justin Poovey (Granite Falls, N.C.) took over for the lefty, who permitted six hits and three runs. Poovey struck out freshman pinch hitter Tanner Mathis and had Ferguson line out to left field during his stint.


Florida held a 7-6 advantage in hits but stranded 11 runners. Game two of the series will be at 7 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow night and air live on CSS, as well as Cox Channel 21 in Gainesville.


Game Notes

·          The Gators dropped their SEC road opener for the third-straight year (5-4 at Ole Miss on March 21, 2008; 11-4 at Arkansas on March 13, 2009; 3-2 at Ole Miss on March 26, 2010).

·          Preston Tucker’s hitting streak ended at nine games, as he was 0-for-4.

·          Austin Maddox had his 10th multiple-hit outing and extended his hitting streak to five games.

·          Alex Panteliodis also worked 7.1 innings against Mississippi State on March 19 and totaled eight strikeouts versus Miami (Fla.) on March 5.

·          Panteliodis has gone at least seven innings in his last three starts.

·          Florida did not commit any errors for the 13th time this season.




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