WHEELING, W.Va. — Wheeling Park rising senior Michael Grove garnered attention around the state during his junior season, helping lead the Patriots to the state baseball tournament for the first time since 1989.
Grove entered state tournament play last year with a 1.31 ERA, while also leading the Patriots in hitting with a .475 average and 25 RBIs.
In July, he officially received a scholarship offer to WVU — something he accepted late last week.
“It’s instate, I have a sister down there and the scholarship situation is great,” Grove said. “I like the coaches a lot, there’s a new facility that is state of the art and going to be awesome. All of that went into my decision. I was always interested in WVU, I have a lot of friends and family who go there or who have gone there – it was definitely a target school for me.”
Grove had other scholarship offers from Hofstra, Richmond and Eastern Kentucky as well. He attended a showcase camp at WVU when he first came on the radar of WVU head coach Randy Mazey.
“I have a lot of confidence in Coach Mazey,” Grove said. “It seems like he has the program really going up towards the top. He’s a really nice guy, I like him a lot and he’s really personable.
“I’ll be coming in as a pitcher, that’s how he saw me,” he continued. “I’ll be going in as two-way guy to begin with and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
Grove has four pitches right now — two different fastballs, a slider and a changeup.
“I throw a hard fastball around 90-91 mph,” he said. “I can add in the changeup and a good slider with that as well. I just want to get better all-around during my senior year and have more command with my off-speed pitches, throw a little harder and hit even better.”
With his college decision now complete, Grove can focus fully on football with Wheeling Park before baseball season comes around in the spring.
“I want the end goal to be a state championship this year,” Grove said of the 2015 baseball season. “I don’t want it to end in the semifinals.”
Regardless, after that senior campaign is complete, the first team all-state standout will then be able to officially begin his tenure as a Mountaineer.