About 24 hours after learning they’ll face the William & Mary Tribe to open the Raleigh (N.C.) Regional, Rebel skipper Mike Bianco announced that Mike Mayers will take the mound in Game 1.
“Just thought you have your ace and really it’s a hard question to answer because I don’t want to take anything away from Mike. Part of the reason you can do this is because Mike is so good,” Bianco said prior to Tuesday’s practice at Oxford-University Stadium. “We didn’t do it last year because I thought of our situation and felt that we needed to win Game 1 and Bobby (Wahl) was our best shot. Now you look at it a year (later) with both of those guys and the way that Mike threw this past week in Hoover, he can beat anybody in the country. We think he’s ready for it and excited about it and there’s no doubt that he can do it on Friday.”
Mayers is 5-5 with a 2.98 ERA on the year. In 87.2 innings, Mayers has struck out 70 against 31 walks and has limited opposing batters to a .231 batting average.
The junior right-hander is coming off of one of his better outings of the season. In the Rebels’ SEC Tournament opener against Kentucky, Mayers allowed one unearned run in 6.1 innings to pick up his fifth win of the season.
Bianco’s decision to hold his ace potentially sets up a Wahl vs. Carlos Rodon on Day 2 of the Raleigh Regional, a showdown that will have the attention of every Major League club.
For more on the Diamond Rebels all the way through the NCAA Tournament, be sure to check back at OxfordEAGLE.com as well as pick up a copy of the print edition daily. (May 28, 2013)