The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

May 9, 2013

WVU to host Mazey’s former team starting tonight

When the season began, the West Virginia-Texas Christian baseball series was supposed to be an intriguing one — mainly because first-year WVU head coach Randy Mazey would be facing his former team. The new Mountaineer skipper had been an assistant for TCU before accepting the job of replacing Greg Van Zant in Morgantown.

But that side story will be put on the back burner this weekend when the Horned Frogs visit WVU at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston. WVU (29-20, 11-7 Big 12) has put itself in position for a much bigger story. With two conference series left, the Mountaineers, picked by every coach in the league to finish at the bottom of the Big 12 standings, are part of a three-way tie at the top of the conference standings and are looking to complete what could be one of the most unlikely runs in the school’s history.

“It’s going to be really good to see everybody (from TCU),” said Mazey, who was an assistant there from 2007 through 2012. “But when it comes to playing against them, that’s a different story. You don’t mind competing against your friends playing golf or cards, but when there’s so much at stake and you don’t want anybody to lose, that makes it a little bit tougher.

“I’m a Mountaineer now. I’m not a Horned Frog anymore. So we’re going to go out and try to win three games.”

The series starts tonight with a game at 6:30 p.m. Harrison Musgrave will take the hill for WVU, putting his 7-1 record and 2.38 ERA on the line against TCU sophomore right-hander Preston Morrison (6-2, 1.43 ERA).

Saturday’s game will begin at 4 p.m., with WVU’s Dan Dierdorff (4-5, 3.77 ERA) facing TCU sophomore lefty Brandon Finnegan (0-7, 2.51 ERA). The final game on Sunday will see the Mountaineers’ sophomore lefty, John Means (4-2, 2.97 ERA), battle TCU junior Andrew Mitchell (1-1, 3.07 ERA).

Sunday’s game will be “Little League Day,” and any child in the eighth grade and under will receive free admission by wearing a team jersey.

WVU is led at the plate by junior third baseman Ryan Tuntland, who holds a .346 batting average with three homers and 29 RBIs. Junior left fielder Jacob Rice is hitting .319 with 12 doubles and 24 RBIs.

TCU’s top hitter is freshman outfielder Boomer White, who’s hitting .329 with 10 doubles and 20 RBIs. Redshirt-senior infielder Jantzen Witte is hitting .284 with three homers and 29 RBIs.

Single game tickets for all three games are available for $7 for reserved seats and $5 for general admission in advance of the game. They can be purchased by calling 304-344-2287. Tickets at the gate will be $9 for reserved seats and $7 for general admission.

WVU has won three straight Big 12 series, topping Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. It hasn’t lost a Big 12 series since dropping two out of three to Baylor the first weekend in April.

— E-mail: chuffman@

register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

 

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