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RALEIGH, N.C. – The Ole Miss baseball team arrived here in North Carolina's capital city Wednesday with winning a NCAA Regional on its collective mind.

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Ole Miss pitcher Bobby Wahl

"There's a lot of unfinished business," said junior catcher Stuart Turner, in his first NCAA Regional after a junior college career. "I couldn't be more happy to play and start the road to Omaha."

Teams all over the country who made the field are doing the same thing and feeling the same way. It's a fresh slate now, and all are focused on advancing this weekend. A Super Regional awaits the victor of each of the 16 Regionals. The eight Super Regional winners advance to the College World Series.

The Rebels, 37-22 and seeded second here, will play third-seeded William and Mary (37-22) Friday at 1 p.m. CT. In game two at 6 p.m. CT, it will be host and top-seeded North Carolina State (44-14) against the No. 4 seed Binghamton (30-23).

This Regional is matched for a Super Regional with the Eugene Regional, hosted by No. 8 national seed Oregon (45-15). Also in Eugene are second-seeded Rice (41-17), third-seeded San Francisco (34-22), and fourth-seeded South Dakota State (35-22).

Wolfpack head coach Elliott Avent was not pleased his team was passed over as one of the eight national seeds. Some had projected N.C. State to make it into the field as one of the top eight teams. But that didn't turn out to be the case.

Avent, it was reported, was not happy about that.

Mike Mayers
Josh McCoy

"Shocked. Totally, absolutely shocked," he reportedly said Monday after the announcment of the field.

It remains to be seen how Avent feels now as the media gets an opportunity to visit with each head coach today, and also how his ballclub will react this weekend to being passed over.

Ole Miss hasn't been to Omaha since 1972, the fourth time the program had been to the final eight of college baseball. North Carolina State hasn't been since 1968, its only appearance in the College World Series. The Wolfpack locker room reportedly has a "1968" sign on each locker.

Ole Miss plans to send junior right-hander Mike Mayers against The Tribe in Friday's opener. Mayers said he's ready to pitch again, having last started in the Rebels' 4-1 win against Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference Tournament in Hoover, Ala., on Tuesday of last week.

"Just the opportunity to get us going the right way, and having Bobby (Wahl) in the second game will be huge," said Mayers, with a 2.98 ERA but a tough-luck 5-5 record that included some games when the Rebels didn't score enough to help his cause that particular day or made some mistakes that cost the team and Mayers a win.

Mayers and Wahl, along with all the returning players from last season, were in a road Regional a year ago. They will draw on that tournament as well as playing in hostile road environments this season.

"It's huge, just having that experience part of it," said Mayers, who started the Rebels' second game of the College Station Regional last summer, a 6-3 Ole Miss victory over top-seeded Texas A&M. "To go into that type of environment where everything you've worked for all season long and all fall long with these guys is on the line, it's win or go home. It's going to be fun. We're definitely looking forward to it."

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