MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia designated hitter Matt Frazer earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors Monday after hitting .556 (5-for-9) with three runs, three RBIs and three walks in a four-game stretch.
The junior collected four doubles over the weekend as WVU took two of three from No. 10 Oklahoma in Charleston.
With two regular-season series remaining, the Mountaineers (29-20, 11-7 Big 12) are in a three-way tie with Oklahoma and Kansas State atop the conference.
“It’s hard not to be happy with what this team has accomplished so far,” first-year coach Randy Mazey told MetroNews “Sportsline” after WVU won its third consecutive league series.
“They’ve really taken on an identity of having a lot of character, a lot of passion and playing with energy.”
After league coaches unanimously picked WVU to finish last in the Big 12’s preseason poll, Mazey admitted he and his staff weren’t anticipating such a rapid turnaround. After all, this program had plummeted to a 33-52 mark in Big East play the past three seasons, hardly a harbinger West Virginia would become a title contender in the much tougher Big 12.
“When we started winning some games and making our way to the top of the Big 12 standings, we had to kind of refocus and teach them how to handle success,” Mazey said.
The sudden rise has been made more remarkable by WVU’s inability to host Big 12 games on campus. Even “home” series have required three-hour drives to Charleston or Beckley.
“We play about 48 or 49 games away from Morgantown, so our kids miss a lot of school and end up spending a lot of time on buses,” Mazey said. “But before the season we began preparing our guys to deal with adversity, and our guys have come together pretty well and gotten mentally tough.”
WVU returns to action Friday against TCU at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston.