The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

April 26, 2013

Big 12 baseball comes to Beckley

WVU-Kansas series begins today at Epling Stadium

BECKLEY — One of the country’s best baseball conferences will put two of its teams on display in Beckley today as Big 12 members Kansas and West Virginia will play a critical conference series at Linda K. Epling Stadium.

Winners of 15 of their last 20 games, the Mountaineers are making some noise in their new league, and first-year head coach Randy Mazey is excited about the results.

“We really didn’t know what to expect going into it, because all we knew about our players was from the stat sheets from the year before,” said Mazey, a former TCU assistant. “But the one thing we did know was that the kids were going to compete and play hard. We’re starting to see some results from that.”

THE SERIES

The three-game set begins today with a 6:30 p.m. matchup. Saturday’s second game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start, and the series will conclude Sunday with a 1 p.m. first pitch.

WHAT THIS MEANS

Every game is critical in a tightly-contested Big 12 race.

Kansas (25-15, 9-6) is currently in second place in the nine-team league, just behind Oklahoma, which leads the league at 8-4.

WVU (24-18, 6-6), picked to finish in the conference’s basement, has done much better than that so far. At .500 in league play, the Mountaineers are in sixth place, in a virtual tie with Oklahoma, which is 7-7 in league play, and ahead of Texas powers TCU (7-8), Texas (5-10) and Texas Tech (5-10).

Both the Mountaineers and Jayhawks are within striking distance o the top spot, but the battle isn’t just for No. 1. It’s also extremely important to avoid the basement, as the last-place team will not be included in the Big 12 tournament.

“Our goal is to make the Big 12 tournament,” said WVU ace Harrison Musgrave. “Halfway through the season, it’s more realistic. We’re in the middle of the pack. It’s going to be a grind the last four weeks, but our goal’s still to make the tournament.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Kansas

Michael Suiter, OF. The sophomore is batting .354 with seven doubles and 20 RBIs. He’s also stolen 14 bases.

Alex DeLeon, IF. The senior is hitting .326 with 12 doubles, five home runs and 33 RBIs.

West Virginia

Ryan Tuntland, 3B. The junior leads the team with a .370 battling average. He’s hit a pair of homers and driven in 24 runs.

Ryan McBroom, 1B. The junior leads the team with eight home runs and 31 RBIs.

ON THE HILL

WVU will send Musgrave, the NCBWA National Pitcher of the Week, to the mound for today’s first game. The sophomore lefty is 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA and is coming off a complete game shutout of Texas last Friday.

Senior right-hander Dan Dierdorff (2-5, 4.78 ERA) will start Saturday’s game, with sophomore lefty John Means (3-2, 3.05 ERA) getting the call on Sunday.

Kansas will counter with its ace tonight as senior right-hander Thomas Taylor (4-0, 2.47 ERA) will start. Sophomore lefty Wes Benjamin (4-4, 4.50 ERA) will start Saturday, while Sunday’s starter is undecided.

WANT TO GO?

Tickets will be available at the gate for $9. Groups of 10 or more will be charged $5 per ticket.

CAN’T BE THERE?

If a trip to Linda K. Epling Stadium isn’t possible, the audio of the game will be available online at WVUsports.com or on the radio locally on 102.7 The Ticket.

— E-mail: chuffman@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • Hamrick deserves praise for pursuit of D’Antoni

    Sometimes gambles don’t pay off, but some risks simply have to be taken.

    April 23, 2014

  • WVU post-spring depth chart filled with few surprises

    Although the contents brought about as much of a surprise as a over the hill balloon at a 40th birthday party, there were a few interesting nuggets in the post-spring depth chart that West Virginia University sent out Wednesday morning.

    April 23, 2014

  • Clutch hitting leads WVU over Marshall

    Junior catcher Cam O’Brien finished  a home run away from the cycle and scored three runs as the WVU baseball team defeated Marshall, 10-3, on Wednesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 23, 2014

  • Gardner improving with broken neck

    Joedy Gardner, a well-known former West Virginia basketball player and coach, is much improved after having broken his neck in Phoenix, Ariz., several months ago.

    April 23, 2014

  • 042314 trickett Mountaineers have benefited from incoming football transfers

    Recruiting in college football seems to get more and more attention every season. Websites like Scout.com and Rivals.com stalk the high school sidelines and blow up potential recruits’ cell phones in search of the latest information. But there’s one important aspect that often goes ignored — transfers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU baseball pounds Terps

    The offense had 16 hits and sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out six as the West Virginia University baseball team routed Maryland 14-2 on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 22, 2014

  • Crutchfield not interested in Division I job

    You would think Jim Crutchfield would be a great candidate for a head basketball coach’s job at an NCAA Division I university.
    But the Clarksburg native keeps saying that he’s perfectly content in that role at West Liberty, a Division II powerhouse. His 10-year record there is an absolutely amazing 272-49. Significantly, 10 of those defeats came in his first year at the West Liberty helm.

    April 22, 2014

  • Stepping up: Kelly racking up wins for Lions

    Sundays have become red-letter days for Chris Kelly.

    April 22, 2014

  • Paul Popovich, now 73, wishes he were playing baseball today

    If you’re a longtime baseball fan, you may recall Morgantown’s Paul Popovich.

    April 22, 2014

  • Hiring an interim while waiting on D’Antoni would be an injustice

    The search for Marshall’s new men’s basketball coach remained in a holding pattern over the Easter weekend while the Los Angeles Lakers put off their decision on coach Mike D’Antoni’s future until this week.

    April 21, 2014

AP Video