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May 3, 2013

WVU hosts Sooners in crucial series

MORGANTOWN — The West Virginia University baseball team will host No. 10 Oklahoma in a crucial three-game series at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston this weekend.

The Mountaineers (27-19, 9-6 Big 12) are one game behind the Sooners (33-12, 10-5 Big 12) in the Big 12 standings. WVU has won 18 of its last 24 games, and earned its first Big 12 sweep last weekend against Kansas in Beckley.

Game one of the series begins at 6:30 p.m. today. Game two begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, and first pitch for game three is slated for 1 p.m. Sunday. There also will be fireworks following the conclusion of Friday’s game.

This weekend will feature two of the top pitchers in the Big 12 this season with WVU sophomore left-hander Harrison Musgrave and Oklahoma junior right-hander Jonathan Gray.

Musgrave earned Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors for the second consecutive week last Monday after firing a complete-game shutout in game one against Kansas. Musgrave now has a scoreless innings streak of 25.0, in which he has allowed 13 hits and has struck out 16, walking five.

“Who knows when their guy is going to pitch, and we don’t know when Harrison is going to go just yet,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “Both of those guys are fun to watch, so if you’re a fan of Big 12 baseball or baseball in general, this will be a really good weekend to come out and watch.”

For the season, Musgrave is 7-1 with a 2.36 ERA in 11 starts. Currently he is riding a six-game winning streak and has yet to lose in Big 12 play, posting a 4-0 record. In conference play, he has a 0.97 ERA, striking out 36 in 37.0 innings, and has allowed just four earned runs.

Gray is expected to be one of the top overall draft picks this summer and carries an 8-1 record with a 1.10 ERA in 11 starts. Gray has two complete games and has struck out 98 in 81.2 innings of work. In the national rankings, Gray is No. 2 in hits allowed per nine innings (4.63), third in strikeouts and ninth in ERA.

“They can really pitch, they can really hit and they can really play defense,” Mazey said. “It’s another one of those series where we have to be sharp in all three areas of baseball to try and win the series.”

Tickets are priced at $9 (reserved) and $7 (general admission) on game day.

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