Sometimes figuring out how to set up your rotation for a regional can a complicated situation where a coach has to way a number of pros and cons and gamble accordingly. This is not one of those times.
NC State ace Brian Brown has been the Saturday guy all season long, and there was no reason to change that now, since the biggest game of these regionals is the Saturday winner’s bracket contest. Which the Wolfpack expects to be in by beating Army on Friday night.
Reid Johnston will start in his normal Friday spot, and with luck, NC State will not only beat Army, but Johnston will be able to work deep into the game and keep the pressure off of the bullpen. If State can get out of Friday without having to use its most important bullpen arms, that would be big.
Auburn, for its part, is playing it the same way, holding ace Casey Mize until Saturday night. Mize has great stuff and preposterous numbers (140 K, 10 BB) this season, and also might end up the top pick in the MLB Draft next month.
If State and Auburn do meet on Saturday night, it could be a lot of fun—but it definitely won’t be easy.