Former Pacer makes Oakland A's Opening Day roster

Mar. 26—A big Spring Training has produced a big result for former USC Aiken pitcher Mitch Spence.

Spence knew every time he took the mound this spring would be important; the first overall selection in the 2023 Rule 5 draft by the Oakland A's, Spence was going to have to make Oakland's Opening Day roster. If he didn't make the final cut, he'd be offered back to the New York Yankees who could then send him back down to the minor leagues.

Positive performances were absolutely necessary for Spence, and he delivered. Come Opening Day on Thursday, he'll be on a Major League Baseball roster.

Spence appeared in six games during Spring Training, striking out 21 batters with a 3.06 ERA in 17 2/3 innings pitched. It was enough to impress Oakland, with the call being made Monday.

Spence was a first-team All-Peach Belt Conference performer while at USCA, twice making the PBC All-Tournament team and thrice earning Region Pitcher of the Week honors.

He was 10th-round draft pick in 2019 by the Yankees and spent four seasons playing for their minor league affiliates.