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This is the fourth installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week was a combined effort with Metz Camfield. Let's get into it:

1. The Ole Miss football team was on a bye week, but the volleyball and soccer teams went a combined 5-1 on the weekend, as both of those teams wrapped up nonconference play.

2. As much fun as it is covering Ole Miss home and away games, and they are, it's also fun to have a Saturday to watch games from 11 a.m. - and thanks to the late-game dramatics between Oregon and Washington State - until late into the night. That game, along with Mississippi State-LSU and Florida State-Clemson were the highlights for me, but it was an overall great day of football.

3. After moving up four spots the previous week, Ole Miss remained No. 10 in the latest Associated Press poll, one of six SEC West teams ranked in the top 17. Think about that, approximately one of every three teams in the top 17 are from the same division of the SEC. That's insane.

4. Among those six SEC West teams is Mississippi State, which entered the top 25 at No. 14 after its road win over LSU. Its inclusion marks the first time since the final poll of 1999 that both Mississippi schools are ranked in the Associated Press top 25. 

5. Oct. 4 is shaping up to be a potentially huge day in Mississippi with No. 10 Ole Miss hosting No. 3 Alabama and No. 14 Mississippi State hosting No. 6 Texas A&M. Standing in the way are Memphis (at Ole Miss) and Arkansas (vs. Texas A&M in Dallas).

6. When asked what he wanted to get out of the bye week, head coach Hugh Freeze said he wanted to build depth and work on two-minute, third-down and red-zone offense. Those are some areas to watch in the Rebels' matchup with Memphis on Saturday.

7. Speaking of Memphis, the Tigers are 2-1 to start the season for the first time since 2004. That was also the last time Memphis defeated Ole Miss. Don't forget, earlier this season, Memphis put a scare into then-No. 11 UCLA in Los Angeles before falling short 42-35.

8. Much has been said and written about Bo Wallace's start to the 2014 season. Here's a nice story on Wallace from Chase Parham of Rebel Grove/Rivals.com earlier this week. Check it out.

9. Following the program's first College World Series appearance since 1972 and a top-four national finish, Ole Miss baseball head coach Mike Bianco's contract was extended to run through the 2018 season. Well-deserved for the all-time winningest coach in Ole Miss history.

10. The new ball that will be used in college baseball this season, which features lowered seams, is definitely going to make a difference. While it doesn't seem to come off the bat any hotter, it does carry further. In talking with coaches and players after Saturday's scrimmage, there were a few balls hit Friday and Saturday that would have been fly ball outs last year. This will certainly be a topic again as we get closer to the season, but this is a good thing for college baseball.

11. Former Rebels Aaron Barrett (Washington Nationals) and Lance Lynn (St. Louis) have clinched berths in the postseason, with Barrett and the Nationals having already clinched the NL East Division. Tip of the hat to them.

12. Sticking with the theme of former Rebels in the big leagues, how about a shout out to Chris Coghlan of the Chicago Cubs and Drew Pomeranz of the Oakland A's? Coghlan went 4-4 with two home runs and four RBIs Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, his second home run, a two-run shot in the eighth inning, proved to be the game-winner. Pomeranz, meanwhile, finished with a strong line against the Philadelphia Phillies in a start, going 5.0 innings, with one hit, zero runs, zero earned runs, two walks and six strikeouts.

13. Amory, Mississippi, native Addie Forbus scored in the first minute, and the Ole Miss defense made it stand up, as the Rebels defeated Mississippi State 1-0 to retain possession of the Magnolia Cup. It marked the Rebels' first win in Starkville since 2009. Congrats to Coach Matt Mott and the girls.

14. With a 4-0 weekend, the Ole Miss volleyball team remained undefeated at 14-0, matching last year's win total ahead of the start of SEC play. The Rebels open SEC play with matches at South Carolina and Florida, which will likely serve as a measuring stick for the team after being pushed to five sets just once in the nonconference.

15. The Ole Miss athletics department will be honoring the life and legacy of former Ole Miss football player Chucky Mullins this weekend. He will be inducted posthumously into the M-Club Hall of Fame and Ole Miss will rename Coliseum Drive "Chucky Mullins Drive." For more on the celebration of Chucky Mullins, click here.

16. In case you missed it, here's Episode 4 of The Season: Ole Miss Football, which includes a touching tribute to the late Stan Sandroni.

Picked to finish sixth in the SEC Western Division, junior right-hander Chris Ellis knew it was possible to advance to the College World Series and be in position to play for a national championship during intersaquad scrimmages early in the year.

Ellis said they didn't know if they were struggling to pitch, or they could hit really well, and it turned out they could hit really well, so they figured out pretty early in the season they were going to be a special team.

It turned out they could pitch it pretty well too.

The pitching staff holds a 2.72 ERA, which is fourth-best among College World Series teams and 16th best nationally, led by the one-two punch of junior right-hander Chris Ellis (10-2, 2.45) and sophomore left-hander Christian Trent (9-0, 2.21).

"It's definitely surprising," senior third baseman Austin Anderson said. "We knew they were good. Up until this season, Ellis was a great pitcher and he had a great stuff, but he never defined himself, and this spring, he was a third-round draft pick and he's been dominant all year. 

"We knew Trent was good and at LSU previously, but he was new, and we didn't know how good he would really be. They have made key contributions and they are one of the main reasons we're here."

Ellis and Trent are the latest in a long line of ace starting pitchers, having stepped into weekend rotation spots vacated by Bobby Wahl and Mike Mayers, who were selected in last year's MLB First-Year Player Draft. 

"At first, it was intimidating. I didn't know what to expect," said Ellis, a third-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Angels. "After I got the first SEC win out of the way at South Carolina and figured out that my offense could help me and I didn't have to do it by myself. It was exciting from then out because I knew I could trust people behind me to make plays and score runs."

"It was exciting," said Trent, a 20th-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers. "You know coming you have spots to fill. When I got recruited, Coach (Carl) Lafferty said we needed weekend guys, and we want you to be a weekend guy. It's fun coming in and stepping in and be given such a role. It's an honor."

Pitching and command, more than velocity, head coach Mike Bianco said, separates this year's pitching staff from previous teams. Ellis has a power arm, Bianco continued, but he has success because he pitches with command and throws three different pitches in the strike zone, while Trent has had success with his fastball, change-up and slider, depending on the start. 

More than anything, confidence has gotten them to this point.

"The confidence in my defense, our hitting and coach's pitch-calling," said Trent, who admitted he has never shaken Bianco off. "He told me before I went out there in the Supers that we were going to throw straight fast balls. I didn't disagree with it. That's what I did, and it worked. I have complete trust in Coach B calling pitches and Will (Allen) behind the plate. It's great to have that kind of confidence in your team."

More on Bianco's pitch-calling system: Trust, track record important in pitch selection, writes Chase Parham from Rebel Grove/Rivals.com

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LAS VEGAS -- Former Ole Miss Rebel and current Colorado Springs Sky Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz made his major league debut with the Colorado Rockies on September 11, 2011. 

Less than two years after being selected by the Cleveland Indians with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, he had made it, and he described being called up that fast as a very fortunate situation.

"The way my career went, getting up there so quick, I was fortunate to get a taste of that and learn the things I need to refine for when I go back up there to be ready," Pomeranz said.

"I'm trying to knock out a lot of the stuff I need to work on here (at Colorado Springs) while I have the opportunity because it's hard to work on things up there (in the major leagues). It's hard to work on things and concentrate on getting those guys out."

The Rockies acquired Pomeranz in a trade that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to the Indians, and less than two months later, he made his debut, starting four games in September, then moved into the rotation last year. 

He made 22 starts in the majors, posting a 2-9 record with a 4.93 ERA and 83 strikeouts against 46 walks in 96.2 innings. He also made 10 starts with Colorado Springs, which is where Pomeranz has pitched so far this year. 

"I needed to work on being with three pitches and being more efficient," Pomeranz said of what he needed to work on this year.

Those three pitches -- fastball, curveball and change-up -- Pomeranz said he felt he has had pretty much every outing this year for Colorado Springs, compared to last year in which he said a lot of times he had a fastball, maybe a curveball, just depending on the day. 

So far, so good for Pomeranz.

The Memphis, Tenn., native is tied for second in the Pacific Coast League (AAA) in wins with a 7-1 record to go along with a 4.35 ERA in 78.2 innings over 14 starts. He also leads the league in both strikeouts (93) and strikeouts per nine innings (10.64) against 32 walks.

"I'm trying to work on a lot of things down here. I've been feeling great. I'm not so much worried about the stats or how well I'm doing. It's more about how I feel, and I've felt probably the best I have felt in a while out there this year, so I'm pretty excited about that."

Despite the high strikeout numbers, Pomeranz said he is still working to be more efficient.

"I still struggle some with that, especially because I have been striking a lot of guys out this year, and tend to have a higher pitch count," he said of his efficiency. As of late, I have been trying to be more efficient and pitch deeper into games."

The former Rebel said he watched some Ole Miss baseball this past season, adding that "maybe this year they were going to do it." 

Recounting some of his memories in the red and blue, he was quick to mention his complete game with a school-record 16 strikeouts on two days' rest against Western Kentucky in the 2009 NCAA Regional, but also the 2009 NCAA Super Regional, "those Virginia games," "not winning that Virginia game." More than that, however, he said he took away from his three years in Oxford.

"I learned a lot of things about myself," he said. "I made the decision to go to college, instead of signing out of high school. Like I tell a lot of people, it was the best decision I ever made. I improved so much. Growing up and being surrounded by that kind of program, you learn a lot about yourself."

When asked about a possible return to the majors, his answer was simple.

"It's going to be great," he said. "I can't wait."







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