Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Randy Mazey’s West Virginia team sports a No. 22 RPI and is primed to make the program’s first NCAA appearance in 18 years.

 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Considering Randy Mazey was jittery despite a six-run, ninth-inning lead on Sunday, he’s hardly counting his West Virginia team as an NCAA tournament lock.

With two weeks left in the regular season, however, the Mountaineers are positioned to make their first regional appearance since 1996.

After taking two of three from Texas over the weekend, West Virginia has won three consecutive Big 12 series. And though its 26-17 overall record doesn’t leap off the page, WVU entered Monday with a No. 22 RPI and a 9-8 mark that was good for fourth place in the Big 12, the second-rated RPI league in the nation.

That profile looks like a cinch for the 64-team NCAA field. Yet as Mazey cautioned Monday afternoon: “You get surprised every year by the teams that get in and the teams that get left out.”

The latest dispatches from baseball bracketologists favor West Virginia. College Baseball Daily projects the Mountaineers as a No. 2 seed in the four-team Baton Rouge regional, while ChasingOmaha.com has Mazey’s squad as a No. 2 seed in Gainesville, Fla.

Baseball America writer Aaron Fitt, whose next projected field will be unveiled Wednesday, said he has West Virginia “solidly in as of right now.” However, the Mountaineers close out the season with road trips to Kansas (which has won seven straight games) and Texas Tech (which is 28-4 at home).

“I think West Virginia is in great shape after winning that Texas series, although they still have two tough road series coming up, so they can’t let up,” Fitt said. “If they lose both of those last two series, they might find themselves back on the bubble, but I think an 11-12 conference record will probably be good enough, coupled with WVU’s strong RPI and quality wins.”

Fitt currently forecasts the Big 12 as a six-bid league, with TCU, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Texas as locks, followed by West Virginia and Kansas in comfortable position.

Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

West Virginia and shortstop Taylor Munden took two of three from Texas this weekend.

Not that Mazey’s comfortable. A swoon through Lawrence and Lubbock, followed by a poor showing at the Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City, could unravel much of this season’s good work.

“We just have to finish strong,” Mazey said. “We’ve really got a tough stretch coming up.”

West Virginia, which has won five of its past six nonconference games, faces Virginia Tech (19-27) on Tuesday night in Princeton, W.Va. What three weeks ago looked like a schedule-boosting matchup now has lost some luster, with the Hokies dropping nine of 10 and plummeting to 126 in the RPI. But don’t tell that to the fans who scarfed up all 1,700-plus tickets, making for a rare midweek sellout.

West Virginia plans to start senior right-hander Corey Walter (1-4, 4.88 ERA), who showed signs of a turnaround in his last outing on April 23, holding Marshall to two runs over seven innings in a 10-3 win.

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Comments

  • will

    2080 fans in Princeton at the wvu win over va tech 4-3 great game please come again Mr. Luck.

  • Aaron

    I almost forgot.

    Than's Anthony Chez

  • Aaron

    That's a great win, to go on the road while playing at home in between two great conference series and snag victory from the jaws of defeat against an old rival that isn't quite living up to the billing they should have....

    Country Roads, Take me Home, to the Place, I Belong, West Virginia...

    It's a great day to be a Mountaineer.

  • Mountaineer Fanatic

    Fingers and toes are firmly crossed. Lets Goooooo Mountaineers

  • David Kennedy

    32 is the magic number....and 2014 is a magic year...
    Couldn't be more proud of this teams success...a combination of brains, talent, an incredible teaching skill set, long hours and hard work.
    The future of WVU baseball will be incredible.

  • Rick55

    Jerry West, Bob Huggins, Billy Hahn all attended games this weekend. As for DH, if he had attended, he would be criticized for watching baseball games instead of attending to football matters, no?

    I understand the speculation about regionals etc but I'm with Coach on this one- one game at a time. Like he said, I'm sure Texas Tech was riding high and anticipating a regional before Kansas swept them. Now it's back to square 1. Funny how that works.

    • Joe Schmoe

      The man in black probably was boozing it up

  • John

    Just keep winning WVU!! Win the 2 non-conference games; split the 6 conference road games; and then get a W in the Big 12 tournament. That will get them 32 wins and that should be more than enough to get them in a regional.

    Mazey has done a fantastic job and if Ollie were smart, he would lock him up for a while. In about 3 years, I would think WVU would be on the brink of hosting a regional. Facilities will certainly help but this is a team that will be competing for Big 12 championship soon.

    • Mitch

      @ John,

      I think that would only get us to 31 wins John. Still, it would be great.

  • Grant

    Mazey is doing a great job. I hope we are able to keep him for a long time.

  • Sluggo51

    Maryland is on the bubble, so that game with West Virginia next week in College Park also will be big for both teams. The Terps are still smarting from the 14-2 beat-down the Mountaineers put on them in Morgantown last month.

  • DP

    William-What a Frigging Idiot you are!!! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE go play on the railroad tracks!!!!!

  • william

    Did the baseball team get any support from these two and did they attend any game in this series to show their support?
    Bob 'Sweatsuit' Huggins
    Dana 'The Man in Black' Holgerson
    Heck, I bet they didn't attend one game this year!

    • Tom

      Also, Billy Hahn sat near me at the game on Sunday. Last night on Sportsline Coach Mazey said Jerry West was there on Sunday. I did not see him.
      P.S. William-Get a life!

      • Uncle Unctuous

        Hey now, William has a life. Just not much of one.

    • Charles

      Both came out to visit and support the baseball team William. So what now???? Unlike you I might add!!!

    • Dave

      It looks like Williams Mom let him back in the basement.

    • Go away

      William, why do you have to be a jerk? Huggs was there on Friday and always takes time to greet fans whenever he's out. One bad apple can make a comment and absolutely ruin the mood that came from this great article about our talented baseball team. Go Eers!

    • Oh Did Ya?

      False....your boy "sweat suit" was in attendance this past Friday taking pictures with any and all fans who asked. That was a good attempt to turn a positive thing into something negative though.

    • Wv first

      You are a idiot

      • Larry

        *an idiot.

        • WVcoal

          Great catch Larry, you idiot.