The Times West Virginian

Mickey Furfari

May 30, 2013

FURFARI COLUMN: Hill picked over Mazey for coach award

MORGANTOWN — I thought Randy Mazey, West Virginia University’s new head baseball coach, deserved to be voted Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year.

But that award went to Brad Hill, who guided Kansas State to the league’s regular-season championship for the first time in its baseball history.

In the eyes of the other seven baseball coaches, Hill earned the nod. The margin of victory never is announced unless it’s unanimous. No coach could vote for himself.

Kansas State, which was picked to finish seventh in the coaches’ preseason poll, wound up the 2013 campaign 16-8 in Big 12 games and 31-17 overall.

The Mountaineers, who were predicted to finish last among the nine clubs, wound up tied for third place. They ended up the year 13-11 in Big 12 play and 33-26 overall.

While West Virginia won the first meeting of the two schools’ three-game series by 13-2, the Wildcats bounced back for 6-5 and 4-3 wins in early March contests.

Hill already had been chosen Big 12 Coach of the Year before his team won two of three games in the conference tournament.

WVU fell to Kansas, 7-2, in its first tournament game. The Mountaineers whipped TCU 10-3, then overcame a 5-0 deficit to upset second-seeded Oklahoma State 6-5 in 10 innings.

Mazey said it has been one of the most satisfying seasons of his head coaching career. He couldn’t been more proud of his players.

They just would not quit against any opponent. But West Virginia did not receive a bid to the NCAA Baseball Tournament.

The NCAA took only tournament champion Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Kansas State.

Mazey obviously has done an outstanding job with the players largely recruited by Greg Van Zant, his longtime predecessor. Hopefully, the Mountaineers will continue to improve and have an even better team in 2014.

There are just four seniors on the current roster. Those are pitcher Dan Dierdorff, outfielder Brady Wilson, outfielder Chris Rasky and catcher Alan Filauro.

Mazey also could lose other key contributors, including Big 12 Pitcher of the Year junior Harrison Musgrave, in the upcoming June Major League Baseball Draft.

Musgrave, who’s from nearby Bridgeport, is among WVU’s all-time greats. He posted a 9-1 record this year.

WVU’s 33 wins are the most in five years. Four came against teams ranked in the Baseball America poll.

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Mickey Furfari
  • FURFARI COLUMN: Bob Slonneger widely known as WVU professor, stats crew chief

    Robert Dean Slonneger of Morgantown, a widely known college professor and athletic game statistician, has passed away.
    “Bob,” as he was known to his multitude of friends, died on Tuesday morning, July 29, at Mon General Hospital, after a brief illness.

    August 2, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Bobby Bowden won the bad-and-good battle with rival Lou Holtz

    The recent announcement that West Virginia University is resuming a football relationship with North Carolina State triggered a most memorable bad-news, good-news battle.
    It was between two legendary coaches, WVU’s Bobby Bowden and N.C. State’s Lou Holtz back there in the 1970s.

    August 1, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.
    He believes a college football coach ought to recruit a quarterback he wants, give him some help, then turn virtually everything over to him and let him go.

    July 26, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Five major sports topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers.
    However, he told me he faces knee-replacement surgery. So he’s going to find it necessary to give up bowling during a period of rehab. Hart has competed in an amazing total of 45 U.S. Bowling Congress tournaments during his outstanding career.

    July 25, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Ex-Mountaineer track star dies; WVU athlete arrests may be concern

    I’ve learned belatedly that James Gordon “Jim” Dial, an outstanding men’s track and field sprinter at West Virginia University during the late 1940s, has died.
    He was a native of Huntington who earned All-State first team status. The Huntington High star led all scorers in the state Track Championship meets in both 1946 and ’47.

    July 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Jedd Gyorko running and taking batting practice now

    A report on the internet at this week’s start indicated that Morgantown’s Jedd Gyorko might be ready finally to rejoin the San Diego Padre’s starting lineup.
    He has been on the Major League’s disabled list since June 3. Problems with his feet was given as the reason Gyorko was unable to keep playing.

    July 16, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: WVU hopes to boost season-ticket sales

    West Virginia University’s season-ticket sales for football are the lowest in nine years just two months before this season’s first home game.
    That will be on Saturday, Sept. 6, against Towson State. The Big 12 portion of the schedule follows.

    July 10, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: San Diego Padres’ Gyorko remains on disabled list

    Stringing together some odds and ends that may interest you:
    • Jedd Gyorko still is not active with the San Diego Padres. The former West Virginia University standout has been on the baseball’s disabled list for just over a month and hopes to return soon.

    July 9, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: It had to feel like ‘Ol’ Home Week’ for the Tricketts

    It might have felt like a bit of “Ol’ Home Week’ to West Virginia University starting quarterback Clint Trickett.
    His parents, Rick and Tara Trickett, were in the Morgantown area and stopped by to spend some time with Clint. They still live in Tallahassee, Florida.

    July 3, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: WVU football season-ticket sales approximately 26,000

    Stringing together some odds and ends about sports that may be of interest to you:
    • West Virginia University season-ticket sales for the 2014 football campaign have reached approximately 26,000. That’s some 2,000 since the count of 24,000 when the renewal deadline was reached.

    June 27, 2014

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