Mayers has decisions to make

Mike Mayers visited Ole Miss earlier this summer. He liked it so much, he's coming down for another visit in a few days.

Actually his mother and his girlfriend were on the first trip, and this time the talented right-handed pitcher is bringing his father to take a look around.

Mayers lives in Grove City, Ohio, and at least a portion of that name has an Ole Miss ring to it. But that has nothing to do with the reason the Rebels top a list that also includes Ohio State, Tennessee, North Carolina, and N.C. State.

"I loved it down there," the 6-foot-4, 190-pounder said of the visit to Oxford earlier in the summer. "The (baseball) stadium is second to none. The downtown square was a cool place. It is small to be an in-state school, and I liked that about it."

Grove City is basically suburban Columbus, Ohio, so Mayers knows a lot about big state universities with Ohio State being nearby, one of the nation's largest. His list of what he's looking for in a program is what you'd expect.

"I would like to pitch right away," said Mayers, a rising senior at Grove City High School. "I want to be comfortable around the coaches. I want it to be a good fit. And I want the chance to get to Omaha."

Ole Miss assistant coach Rob Reinstetle is from Mayers' home area. That could be considered a bit of a selling point. Mayers' first visit to Ole Miss was actually in a camp in July.

"I don't think it could have gone much better," he said of his pitching while he was here and also his visit. "Ole Miss is my top choice right now, and after that I don't know."

Mayers said his best pitch is his fastball, which he throws 90-92 currently. He has a changeup he says he's still developing, and he has a curve ball he likes to use when needed.

As a junior at Grove City High, Mayers was 10-1 with a 1.8 ERA. He had 64 strikeouts and was named first-team all-state in Ohio.

He's also the quarterback of the Grove City football team. Or at least he was. And even his senior baseball campaign could be in jeopardy.

By vote, the district his school is in eliminated sports - all sports - from its schools. That means no football this season.

What else does it mean? No sports at all are to be played at those schools for at least a few months.

"There will be another vote in November," Mayers said. "It's been disappointing. Football is big up here. We'd draw 10,000 fans a game."

And if the November vote doesn't go in favor of restarting the sports teams? Mayers said in order to play his senior season of baseball, he'd have to transfer.

This summer he has tried to forget all that. Mayers pitched for the Columbus Cobras, one of the state's top 18-year-old teams loaded with talent.

"Everybody on the team has signed with a Division I team except for one other guy and me," he said.

The other players are heading to college this fall and are already 18. Mayers won't turn 18 until Dec. 6.

Even without sports at school this fall, Mayers will work to improve his own game.

"I want to continue to gain velocity," he said, "and I'm doing some lifting."

All while making one of life's important decisions in the days ahead.

"I want to decide pretty soon," he said, mentioning he and his dad will visit Ole Miss later this month. "A lot of big schools are winding it down (on recruiting for the November signing period). So I should make a decision before too much longer."

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