This Week in Rebel History: a Governor’s Cup that sparked an SEC title run

Published 8:12 am Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Ole Miss should be in the meat of their 2020 baseball season.

After a 16-1 start in a season shortened by the coronavirus outbreak, Ole Miss would currently be in the heart of an insane SEC run. Beginning last weekend with a trip to Starkville, the Rebels’ close to the regular season would have included 23 total games, 19 of them against ranked teams and nine against top-10 teams.

This weekend, they’d be welcoming No. 5 Vanderbilt to town. This obviously isn’t happening. However, the Rebels were in a shockingly similar situation 11 years ago.

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On this date in 2009, Ole Miss went South to Pearl for the Governor’s Cup, taking home the Cup with an 8-1 victory over Mississippi State. Later that week, April 17 to 19, they traveled to Gainesville, taking two of three games from a Florida team that would go on to be a national seed in the 2009 NCAA Tournament.

The week sparked a run in which Ole Miss would close the regular season winning 15 of their final 20 games to end the year as the SEC regular season champions with a 20-10 conference record.

Ole Miss made quick work of their 2009 Oxford Regional, losing just one game by one run en route to hosting a Super Regional in Oxford for the third time in the Mike Bianco Era. The season ended after taking Friday night 4-3 from Virginia in the Supers before dropping two straight.

Where are members of that 2009 team now?

That 2009 squad is one of the more memorable of the century, featuring names such as Drew Pomeranz, Nathan Baker, Jordan Henry and Aaron Barrett.

Eleven Rebels were drafted that year in 2009, with five from the team more drafted in the 2010 MLB Draft including Drew Pomeranz being taken fifth overall by the Cleveland Indians.

Of the 16 players selected over those two years, four (Pomeranz, Barrett, Matt Tracy and David Goforth) would make the majors. Now only two, Pomeranz and Barrett, remain in the MLB.

Pomeranz has been in the league ever since, having started in 140 games for six teams since first being called up in 2011 by the Colorado Rockies. An All-Star in 2016 after posting a 3.32 ERA over 30 starts, the former Rebel has made over $21-million to start his career. Now back with the San Diego Padres, Pomeranz signed a 4 year, $34-million deal this past offseason.

Aaron Barrett’s trajectory is much different than that of Pomeranz. Drafted in the ninth round in 2010, Barrett didn’t see the majors until 2014. Appearing in 90 games as a reliever over the 2014 and 2015 seasons, Barrett began feeling elbow discomfort late in 2015.

The righty would undergo Tommy John surgery in the fall of 2015, later that year having to get bone spurs removed from both his elbow and ankle. The next summer in 2016, Barrett broke his humorous (the upper bone in your arm) while pitching. A teammate would describe the sound as “a gunshot.”

Needing multiple surgeries this time around, it was not until 2019 in which Barrett made it back to the Majors with the Washington Nationals. Barrett made three relief appearances that 2019 season, before having not pitched in a major league game since 2015. He did not appear in the postseason, in which the Nationals would go on to win the World Series, but was on the 40-man roster.