While Kentucky has announced its starter for Game 1 of the SEC tournament, Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco says it will be tonight before he knows what his pitching plans will be.
If Bianco chooses to throw Mike Mayers, his No. 2 SEC starter would be throwing on five days rest, not terrible but outside the routine to which starters are so accustomed.
Bianco believes disruption of routine were part of the reason for Bobby Wahl’s uncharacteristic struggles in his Saturday starter against LSU.
Wahl, the Rebels’ ace, lasted just 2.2 innings and gave up six runs – all earned – on six hits.
“He just looked tired. His routine has been disrupted so many times the last few weeks. He was pitching on short rest, and it was the hottest day of the year in Louisiana from what I understand. It was boiling down there. It was a combination of him not being in routine, three or four perfectly executed hit-and-runs in a row … The first couple of innings it looked like it would be another Bobby Wahl kind of day. Then in the third inning he struggled to get his slider in the strike zone. It was one of those innings that kind of blew up on him, and he couldn’t get out of it.”
Bianco said he doesn’t know when Wahl will pitch in the SEC tournament and said it’s possible he cold be used in a relief role.
“There’s no way he’ll start Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. We want him to pitch, but we have to be careful and make sure he’s feeling really well when the regional comes around.”
If Bianco doesn’t throw Mayers or Sam Smith the most likely candidates would be Josh Laxer or Jacob Waguespack.