The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

May 8, 2013

Is Mazey Big 12 Coach of the Year?

MORGANTOWN —  Randy Mazey, West Virginia’s new baseball coach, continues to raise eyebrows from coast to coast as the Mountaineers elevate to a three-way tie in the Big 12 Conference for first place in the standings.

Fresh from a 2-1 series win over No. 10 nationally-ranked Oklahoma in Charleston, West Virginia is 29-20 overall and 11-7 in conference competition. Mazey’s magnificent magicians of the diamond now face another important three-game series against Texas Christian (23-24, 8-10 Big 12) this weekend in Charleston. Sharing the league lead with WVU and the Sooners (34-14, 11-7 Big 12) is Kansas State (34-15, 11-7 Big 12).

“(This feeling) is going to have to sink in a little bit,” said Mazey after his team came back from losing the opener to take the series from the Sooners. “We told the guys before the game started that they put themselves in position to win before the (Sunday) game.

The Mountaineers obviously are overflowing with confidence. But they vow to keep working hard and probably feel that they have a very good chance to finish on top in the Big 12’s tightly knit race.

In the meantime, Mazey has done such an unbelievable job already, he deserves the Big 12 Baseball Coach of the year award.

Keep in mind that West Virginia was selected last in the 12-team field before the season started.

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WVU, which has won 20 of its last 27 contests, has yet to break into the nation’s top 25 rankings.

However, Grant Dovey, the Mountaineers director of baseball communications, said the team has begun receiving some votes in both the collegiate baseball writers’ and USA Today coaches’ polls.

Hopefully, Coach Mazey can keep his charges on track a few more weeks so they can wind up somewhere in the rankings of both polls.

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If West Virginia is fortunate enough to earn a bid to the NCAA Baseball Tournament, it would mark only the 12th time that a Mountaineer baseball club had qualified for postseason play in the sport.

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As a team, the Mountaineers have a batting average of .282. Junior third baseman Ryan Tuntland is the leading hitter with a .346 average.

WVU’s pitching staff has been most impressive. Its earned run average combined is only 3.74, the school’s lowest since 1974.

Harrison Musgrave of Bridgeport owns a 7-1 record in 12 starts this season. He has pitched two complete games and owns two shutouts.

Musgrave has struck out 62 batters in 79.1 innings and has a 2.38 ERA. 

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