West Virginia University hopes to clinch a spot in the Big East tournament with a good showing in the final series of the regular season, a three-game set starting Thursday at the University of Cincinnati.

The host Bearcats (33-19, 16-8) have earned one of the eight berths in the double-elimination tournament March 20-24 at Clearwater, Fla. But the Mountaineers (34-16, 13-11) need a win or a Louisville or South Florida loss.

Thursday’s WVU-Cincinnati contest is set for 6:30 p.m. at Marge Schott Stadium. Game two will be played at the same time on Friday, with Saturday’s third meeting at 1 p.m.

The Mountaineers lead the all-time series, 12-8, including 4-1 as Big East members. They first met in 1908 and split two meetings last year in Morgantown.

Matt Yurish (6-1), a 5-2 winner over Louisville at home last Saturday, is expected to pitch for WVU on Thursday. He made the Big East weekly honor roll on Monday.

Michael Hill (4-3) of Cincinnati was named the conference’s Pitcher of the Week. He threw a three-hitter in a 7-1 victory over Seton Hall on Sunday, striking out a career-high 10 batters.

Josh Harrison is the Bearcats’ leading hitter with a .377 batting average. Mike Spina leads the team with 64 RBIs and a .663 slugging percentage.

Shortstop Tyler Kuhn leads the Mountaineers with a .427 batting average, 91 hits and 67 runs. Third baseman Vince Belnome is batting .393 and has 64 RBIs, while second baseman Jedd Gyorko is hitting .413.

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