MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — At the midpoint of its 54-game schedule, the West Virginia baseball team sits No. 9 in the RPI.

Now comes the task of completing the mission, by playing well over the second half of the regular season and ending a 21-year NCAA tournament drought.

There are teams with far gaudier records, but the Mountaineers (17-10), like many cold-weather programs, have played the bulk of their games on the road. Try 22 of them, in fact, which elevates the RPI ranking.

Now the schedule flips, with 18 of the final 27 games slated for Mon County Ballpark, where West Virginia helped itself to midweek victories over Marshall and Morehead State — relying on five freshman arms to do so.

That sets the stage for the first Big 12 home series of the season, with Kansas arriving Friday, and a potentially monumental Easter weekend matchup against TCU, the nation’s preseason No. 1 team.

Check out today’s Gold & Blue Lunch Report for more on the Mountaineers, including a SportsCenter moment for freshman pitcher Alek Manoah.

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