The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

April 22, 2014

Mountaineers ready for slate of rivalry games

MORGANTOWN — Looking to put together a late-season run to get into the NCAA championships, West Virginia faces a pair of midweek rivalry games in a crucial five-game week coming off winning two of three games at Oklahoma.

The Mountaineers play Maryland tonight at Hawley Field and then face Marshall on that same diamond on Wednesday. Both games start at 6 p.m.

The deciding game in the Oklahoma series was one of the most important and telling games of the year for WVU, erasing a 4-0 deficit in the fifth inning on the road to score a 9-5 victory.

“That’s what you call a character win,” Coach Randy Mazey said. “A game like that shows the character of your team. You’re down 4-0. Through five innings we have 10 hits and no runs, so the last eight hits we scored nine runs.”

It was WVU’s first come-from-behind victory of the season and showed Mazey exactly what he wanted to see.

“That’s just constantly grinding it out, a relentless mentality we talked about from the first day of the program,” he said.

What’s more, much of the damage was done by the bottom of the batting order, which had not been productive during the season.

“We’re getting help from the people we said we needed to get it from, the guys other than the top five guys in our lineup,” Mazey said. “Any time you get production from 6 through 9 in the lineup, we’re going to score some runs.”

Senior left-fielder Jacob Rice played so well in the Oklahoma series that he was named the Big 12’s co-Player of the Week after hitting .533 with eight hits in 15 at bats. Two of his hits were doubles, and he scored four runs and drove in four while also stealing a pair of bases.

Junior centerfielder Bobby Boyd, who has hit all season, went 9 for 18 to hit .500 in the Oklahoma series, bringing his team leading batting average to .380 for the season. One of his hits was a double, and he scored two runs and stole a base, giving him 15 for the season.

WVU carries a 19-16 record into the two non-conference before playing a weekend series at home against Big 12 rival Kansas State.

Sophomore left-hander Ross Vance (1-0) will get the start against Maryland after pitching a complete game last Tuesday against Ohio State, striking out 14. Vance allowed one run on eight hits with two walks.

Wednesday’s starter has not been decided.

Maryland comes in with a 24-14 record, 9-11 in the Big Ten. It, too, comes off a series victory, winning two of three against Georgia Tech.

The Terps are led by freshman infielder Brandon Lowe, who is batting .344 with seven doubles, one triple, one home run and 23 RBIs. Senior infielder Blake Schmit leads the team with 10 doubles, and sophomore infielder Jose Cuas has a team-leading five home runs and 29 RBIs.

WVU will be facing LHP Tayler Stiles (2-1, 2.55), who will be making his second start of the season for the Terps. Stiles has made 13 total appearances this season, holding opponents to a .237 average in 24.2 innings pitched.

The Mountaineers will be meeting Marshall (18-20, 8-9 Conference USA), which scored a four game sweep of West Virginia Tech last weekend. Freshman outfielder Corey Bird has a .288 batting average, two doubles and seven RBIs, while junior infielder TJ Diffenderfer leads the team with two home runs and 20 RBIs.

A link to live video and live stats will be available on WVUsports.com. The radio broadcast will be on select affiliates of the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG and fans can listen via AudioNow.

 

1
Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • WVU #6 SHORTS -TS.jpg WVU opens practice with different feel: VIDEOS AND PHOTOS

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen was happy with his team’s first practice of the 2014 season.
    Of course, he would note, “Everybody in the country has a good first day.”
    But somehow, this was different.
    Very different.

    August 1, 2014 9 Photos

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Social media adds another thing to watch for coaches

    As someone who has gotten himself in enough hot water with a misplaced Tweet, when West Virginia University quarterback Clint Trickett hit the send button on July 17 sending out to the cyberworld what should have remained there with him on the couch on which he was sitting, I could feel his pain.

    August 1, 2014

  • WVU basketball non-conference schedule released

    After playing challenging schedules along with the tough Big 12 road, West Virginia University has backed off some this season on its non-conference schedule that was released Thursday.
    West Virginia is coming off a 17-16 season in which it failed to reach the NCAA Tournament and lost to Georgetown in the first round of the NIT.

    August 1, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Must WVU defense carry offense in ’14?

    The other day the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story under the following headline:
    “In a year of change, must the Steelers’ offense carry the defense this year?”
    Reading that turned on a light.

    July 31, 2014

  • WVU takes first step today

    Perhaps the most used — and least factual — cliché in sports is as follows:
    “There’s no tomorrow.”
    Around these parts, however, tomorrow is what they are clinging to, while putting a new twist on the cliché, turning it to, “There’s no yesterday.”

    July 31, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
    The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters

    The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.
    He intrigued the media far more than Bob Stoops, the coach of preseason favorite Oklahoma, and more than Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the preseason player of the year.

    July 25, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads