By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
There’s good news on the West Virginia Miners front. The current roster should expand considerably before Tuesday’s season opener against the Slippery Rock Sliders.
But there is also bad news. Those players likely will not be acclimated to the team’s system and, thus, will probably not play on opening night at Beckley’s Linda K. Epling Stadium.
“We are getting some players in before we start,” manager Tim Epling said, “but they will not have enough practice sessions in to be familiar with the things we do.”
Georgia State outfielder Josh Merrigan, the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Year, was expected to report Saturday night. The Panthers were ineligible for the CAA tournament because of their move to the Sun Belt Conference starting this fall.
Lipscomb was eliminated from the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament Saturday morning. Two of their players — right-handed pitcher Jaesung (J) Hwang and first baseman Griffin Moore — will play for the Miners this summer and could arrive in Beckley today.
Hwang gave a gutsy performance in the Bisons’ tournament win over No. 2 seed Florida Gulf Coast. He faced a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the second inning Thursday night before rain postponed the game to Friday morning. Hwang returned when the game resumed and allowed two runs to score in that second, but he wound up pitching 7 2-3 innings and leading the Bisons to a 3-2 win.
Quincy University shortstop Kenny May arrived over the weekend.
“He will help us up the middle,” Epling said.
May could shift to third base for the early part of the season.
Epling said Radford shortstop Zach Woolcock’s arrival is iffy. He is currently being sidelined with ankle and wrist injuries.
“He will sit for about a week to make sure he is not (seriously) injured,” Epling said. “He is sore in those areas.”
Epling added that pitching is his main concern at this point.
“We need to be sure we have enough arms to go five or six games,” he said. “We don’t want to have to extend their arms any.”
Tuesday’s opener will be followed by the traditional fireworks show. It will also be Coca-Cola Night, with several prizes and giveaways, and baseball bingo will be played throughout the night for $1.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
— E-mail: gfauber@