Ellis Shines Under Friday Night Lights

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After six shutout innings against Stetson in his first Friday start, Chris Ellis followed it up with his first career complete-game shutout, as Ole Miss blanked Georgia State 3-0 Friday at Swayze Field. 

The junior from Birmingham, Ala., allowed just five hits with no walks and four strikeouts in nine scoreless innings. Ellis did allow a runner to reach third base and allowed just two runners in scoring position for the game. He was also efficient on the mound, throwing 67 of his 101 pitches for strikes. He also stayed around 90 mph with his fast ball and touched 91 mph in the ninth inning.

"I like having the beer showers after the game and pitching at night and having all these fans out there," Ellis said. "It's a great atmosphere. It makes it a lot easier to pitch."

"The difference today was a great three-pitch mix," head coach Mike Bianco said. "He was able to throw his change-up into the strike zone early on and was able to throw his fastball in, which was a difference-maker in a lot of at-bats. He was terrific. Even the few times that they threatened, he was able to control the running game and make pitches, and he had terrific defense behind him."

Ole Miss staked a 2-0 lead in the second after Will Jamison singled to right to score Sikes Orvis, and then Preston Overbey came around to score on the throw to second. The Rebels added an insurance run in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk to Braxton Lee, but the first two runs were all Ellis needed.

"In the second inning, Jamison got the big hit," Ellis said. "Once you get a lead, it's a little bit easier to pitch. They start pressing for runs. You let the defense work behind you, and we turned a couple of double plays. We were really sound defensively."

"He was lights out today," Overbey said. "It's fun to play defense behind a guy like that."

Georgia State threatened in the eighth after a leadoff single. A ground ball back to the pitcher advanced the runner, but Ellis got a line out and his fourth strikeout to strand the runner at second. 

With Aaron Greenwood warming up in the bullpen, Bianco stayed with Ellis for the ninth, and he answered with a 1-2-3 inning to close things out.

"The biggest decision was (Ellis) at 88 pitches and having watched the last at-bat against Prain that you knew he could finish instead of struggle through that eighth," Bianco said. "He gives up a first-pitch base hit, and it looked like he cruised after that, so it looked like he was in pretty good control."

"After I finished the eighth, Coach Bianco came up to me and wanted to know if I wanted to finish," Ellis said. "Of course, the competitor in you wants to finish."

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