Checking in from Raleigh.
I rode over with Jeff Roberson of The Ole Miss Spirit, and it took us most of the daylight hours to reach Raleigh on Wednesday. After getting settled at the hotel we drove over to campus and took a look at the stadium.
When leaving the SEC I tend to set the bar low in terms of expectations for facilities. Seems that was a good approach for Doak Field which looks clean and modern from the outside but very small and missing fan amenities like a covered grandstand.
Teams will practice in order of seeding this morning, starting with NC State and finishing with Binghamton. Coaches and players will meet the media shortly after workouts, and I’ll have notes and video here as the day moves along.
There’s a lot of buzz about NC State left-hander Carlos Rodon (8-2, 3.48), who leads the nation in strikeouts. Rodon and Ole Miss’ Bobby Wahl will match up in the second round of the Raleigh Regional if the Rebels and Wolfpack both defeat lower seeds in Friday’s opening round.
Ole Miss will have to defeat another left-hander to get there, though. William & Mary will throw its No. 2 pitcher, left-hander Jason Inghram, the team has announced. Inghram is 8-6 with a 3.46 ERA with 96 strikeouts, 23 walks in 96.1 innings.
Much has been made about the Rebels’ spotty success hitting left-handed pitching this season. Ole Miss is 10-14 in games started by lefties. Those numbers can be misleading. At times the Rebels have hit lefties well only to struggle against the righty who comes in from the bullpen. That was the case at Auburn against Tigers reliever Terrance Dedrick.
The Rebels defeated Kentucky left-hander Jerad Grundy last week in the SEC tournament in Hoover. Grundy was not very impressive, and the Rebels will play more spirited teams than Kentucky here in Raleigh.
More from Raleigh:
Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer writes that NC State coach Elliott Avent is good under pressure, has rallied his team through a period of injuries and has won the backing of a demanding athletics director. Avent is in his 17th year at NC State and is looking for his first CWS appearance.
Whoever wins the Raleigh Regional will likely have to get to Omaha from a road Super Regional. Raleigh is matched up with No. 8 seed Oregon, and the Ducks will host the super if they win their four-team regional.
Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game breaks down the Raleigh Regional. …
The Rebels are hoping experience will be a big advantage in the regional. …
An NC State blog breaks down Ole Miss and William & Mary. …