Eight players from West Virginia are currently on the baseball roster for Mountaineers coach Randy Mazey. Several of them have had a direct impact on this year’s group of Mountaineers, including former all-state Nitro standout Matt Frazer.
The former 26th-round draft pick in 2009 by Kansas City chose to play at WVU over the minor leagues and other college offers. Now in his junior season, the Mountaineer outfielder is seeing steps being made in the right direction under Mazey.
“It’s great,” Frazer said on the MetroNews Statewide Sportsline. “It’s just a whole different style of play under him and it’s also 10 times better. And that shows when we play up to our potential.”
That potential showed through this past weekend as West Virginia took two of three on the road at Texas, improving its Big 12 record to 6-6. It’s part of what has been a surprisingly solid start for West Virginia during its first year in the Big 12 on the diamond, especially considering the Mountaineers were picked dead last in the league by every other coach in the Big 12 preseason poll.
“Obviously no one expected anything out of us this year,” Frazer said. “Us being picked dead last in the Big 12 was kind of expected. But we’re just trying to prove people wrong, earn respect in this league and I think we’re starting to do that.”
Frazer has been one of the leaders on the team in home runs this season and sits near the top of the stat sheet in RBIs as well. Meanwhile, instate natives Justin Fox (Magnolia) and Max Nogay (Madonna) have both added contributions off of the bench for the Mountaineers on the season as well.
On the pitching staff, Corey Walter (Wheeling Park) and Josh Harlow (Lincoln) have both thrown significant innings. Bridgeport’s Harrison Musgrave, though, has anchored the starting rotation, earning national weekly honors and Big 12 honors in the process.
“It’s huge,” Frazer said of the home-grown Mountaineers. “Obviously with the instate players, we play with a lot of pride. Harrison Musgrave has been lights out lately. I really have nothing but good things to say about him. He’s done everything that Coach Mazey has asked for, he’s kept us in games and we’ve been able to give him run support.”
And regardless of how the rest of the season unfolds, the future is bright as a new stadium is on the way in the coming years.
“It’s huge to get a (professional) ball park in there and I think it will really be good for not only us, but for the state,” Frazer said. “It’ll draw a lot more people in and give a lot more people a chance to see us play.”
Other instate products on the team include freshmen Billy Sager (Spring Valley) and Alex Stephens (Linsly).
You can watch the complete interview with Frazer above.