The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

May 21, 2014

WVU trying to shake skid in Big 12 tourney

MORGANTOWN — The West Virginia University baseball team obviously couldn’t have picked a worse time to fall into a sharp slump.

The Mountaineers went from a hot spell (11 wins, 3 defeats) to ending the regular season with a seven-game losing streak that included three-game sweeps at both Kansas and Texas Tech.

In between those back-to-back road trips, WVU dropped its final non-conference contest at Maryland — a ballclub it had defeated earlier in the year.

West Virginia, now 27-24 overall and 9-14 in the Big 12 Conference, is in Oklahoma City for the Big 12 tournament.

The Mountaineers are seeded sixth in the nine-team field. They face Kansas, the No. 3 seed, at 10 a.m. today. The Jayhawks finished third in the conference standings (39-21 overall and 15-9 Big 12).

This opening first-round game is to be televised on Fox College Sports affiliates. If WVU loses, it would face the loser of No. 2 TCU and No. 7 Baylor on Thursday, at 10 a.m.

The winners would play each other later the next day.  

It is a double-elimination tourney. This means if you lose the first game, you do get a second shot in the second round on Thursday.

West Virginia is 16-20 for games on the road this season. So it has been truly tough for Coach Randy Mazey’s club away from home.

But the Mountaineers remain confident that they still have a shot at earing an NCAA regional tournament berth. It would be WVU’s first since 1996 when Greg Van Zant was the baseball coach.

Mazey has said he still feels good about his team’s standing in the Big 12 picture.

While WVU fared fairly well overall during the 2014 campaign, it managed to sweep regular-season series from only two Big 12 rivals. Those were three games from ninth-place Kansas State and two games from Baylor. (A third contest had to be cancelled because of inclement weather.)

West Virginia plans to go with its No. 1 starting pitcher Harrison Musgrave (5-2, 2.32 ERA) in today’s tourney opener.

Mazey was quoted as saying there’s no doubt in his players’ minds or his coaches’ minds, that the Mountaineers will defeat Kansas.

Ironically, last year West Virginia swept a three-game regular season series from Kansas at Linda K. Epling Stadium in Beckley. But the Mountaineers then fell to the Jayhawks in the first round of the Big 12 tourney.

Earlier this month, Kansas swept a three-game set at home against WVU. That obviously raises the question: Can the Mountaineers turn history in reverse and knock off the Jayhawks today in Oklahoma City?

The NCAA will announce its 64-team field on May 26, after all of the conference postseason tourney results are in.

All WVU fans will be wishing the team well, I’m sure!

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • Trickett takes uncertainty away from WVU quarterback position

    Since the day Geno Smith was selected with the 39th pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, West Virginia’s football team has found itself in a rare position — searching for a starting quarterback.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fred Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.

    July 27, 2014

  • Herd featured prominently in website’s preseason honors

    Marshall received several nods in the CollegeSportsMadness.com preseason All-Conference USA awards released Saturday.

    July 27, 2014

  • Miners stop Lorain County 5-1

    The West Virginia Miners received a strong outing from starting pitcher Patrick LaGanke, and scored one run in each of the final five innings to defeat the Lorain County Ironmen 5-1 Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Some topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers

    July 25, 2014

  • 072514 WVU Replacing Sims a challenge for WVU

    Every year, almost every college football preview publication available lists one key statistic that most use to evaluate the prospects for any given football team — returning starters.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen to appear on ESPN special

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen will appear Wednesday on ESPN’s annual mid-summer college football coaches’ “car wash” — in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league

    Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 miners Miners take series with Paints

    The way the West Virginia Miners see it, they don’t have the luxury of planning for tomorrow.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp