By Josh Frydman
OXFORD, MS (WMC-TV) - On the mound, a pitcher's role can change faster than a 90 mile per hour fast ball.
Ole Miss sophomore Bobby Wahl was a top prospect out of high school in Virginia, but spent his freshman season in Oxford buried in the bullpen due to arm injuries.
"Started all my life until last year, which was probably the biggest transition," said Wahl. "It's a big difference honestly, coming out of the bullpen and being that guy whenever you are called upon."
Now fully healthy and with a humbling first season under his belt, Wahl is shining in the spot he was always meant for.
"He was recruited to be this guy, to be a Friday night ace in the SEC," said Ole Miss baseball coach Mike Bianco.
"I think I've matured since last year, obviously getting stronger mentally and emotionally when it comes to pitching," said Wahl. "It's been a good transition."
The 6-3, 200 pound Wahl has flourished on Fridays. Through his first seven starts, the righty is 5-0 with a 1.91 ERA and averaging more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings.
Wahl opened this weekend's series against top ranked Florida by throwing a career long eight innings of shutout ball, limiting the Gators to just two hits.
Wahl's most important number is the one on the back of his jersey. He has been wearing number 19 since high school in honor of his late grandfather who was born in the year 1919.
"I think that's been the biggest motivation for me, because me and him are so close, and ever since he passed away I've been working extremely hard just to do it for him mostly," said Wahl. "It's been a huge part of my life wearing number 19. It kind of follows me everywhere."
Wahl is ranked as one of the top 35 college baseball prospects in the country.
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