RALEIGH, N.C. – Ole Miss pitcher Mike Mayers say he felt nothing physically in his pre-game routine that alerted him to the trouble ahead.
Rebels coach Mike Bianco, though, saw something early that gave him concern.
“After the first inning, coach Bianco pulled me aside and we kind of talked. I was a little herky jerky with my wind-up,” Mayers said.
Mayers gave up a walk and a hit in both the first and second innings of the Rebels’ 4-2 loss to William & Mary. The third and fourth innings were his best, retiring six of seven batters faced, before the game fell a part in the fifth.
Mayers’ six walks matched his career high set against Vanderbilt earlier this year. In his last seven starts he had walked more than two batters just once.
Strong relief effort
Aaron Greenwood had been a central figure in the struggles of the Ole Miss bullpen near the end of the regular season.
Greenwood pitched better the final regular season weekend then again in the SEC tournament and continued that trend in the Raleigh Regional.
He needed just one batter to get the last out of the fifth inning and went on the pitch four scoreless innings scattering four hits and one walk.
Sophomore center fielder Auston Bousfield had just one hit in his previous 32 at-bats going into regional play.
He was 1-for-4 against the Tribe with a one-out double in the sixth. That put runners at second and third, and the Rebels scored their first run of the game on a ground ball out from Will Allen. The Rebels’ second run of the day scored on Stuart Turner’s sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Bousfield also had a ground out, a fly out and reached base on a fielder’s choice bunt.
Tarran Senay and Trea Turner homered, and top-seeded North Carolina State pulled away to beat Binghamton 4-1 Friday night in the teams’ opening game of the NCAA tournament.
The Bearcats will play Ole Miss in an elimination game today, while the Wolfpack will play William & Mary.
Zach Blanden had three hits for the Bearcats. Their only run came when John Howell’s double play groundout in the second scored Shaun McGraw, making it 2-1.
Josh Easley (6-2) struck out four in 41⁄3 scoreless innings of relief for the Wolfpack.
Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal