MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Coming off its first NCAA regional appearance since 1996, West Virginia was picked fifth in the Big 12 baseball preseason coaches poll revealed Wednesday.
Two-time defending champion Texas Tech and TCU were the runaway leaders in the poll, splitting the nine first-place votes. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their teams.
The Mountaineers finished 36-26 overall last season, reaching the final of the Wake Forest regional before losing to the host team. They were 12-12 in the conference, tied for fourth, and enter this season ranked No. 22 in the D1Baseball preseason top 25.
Randy Mazey’s team returns six position players with extensive starting experience, though its starting rotation continues to deal with 2017 injuries to Michael Grove and Conner Dotson.
The Mountaineers open the season Feb. 16 at Jacksonville, beginning a string of 15 road games before the home opener March 16 against Canisius.
|Total votes||2017 record|
|1.||Texas Tech (5)||61||45-17 (16-8) NCAAs|
|2.||TCU (4)||60||50-18 (16-8) CWS|
|3.||Texas||42||39-24 (11-12) NCAAs|
|4.||Oklahoma||40||35-24 (12-11) NCAAs|
|5.||West Virginia||38||36-26 (12-12) NCAAs|
|6.-t||Oklahoma State||26||30-27 (8-14) NCAAs|
|9.||Kansas State||9||29-26 (8-16)|