Baseball coaches pick WVU seventh in Big 12

Second baseman Billy Fleming is among the returning regulars for West Virginia, which posted a surprising third-place finish in the Big 12 last season.


IRVING, Texas — West Virginia was picked seventh in Tuesday’s poll of Big 12 baseball coaches, meaning the Mountaineers will yet again be faced with proving wrong their preseason doubters.

WVU was picked last in 2013 but entered the final weekend with a chance to win the regular-season title and wound up in third place. The Mountaineers return six position players and several top arms—highlighted by Big 12 pitcher of the year Harrison Musgrave—from a team that finished 33-26 and also placed third in the league tournament.

Defending Big 12 regular-season champion Kansas State was named the favorite to repeat, garnering five first-place votes from the league’s nine coaches.

The runner-up picks were Oklahoma State and TCU, with Texas selected fourth after the Longhorns finished in the Big 12 cellar last year.

Oklahoma was fifth and Baylor sixth ahead of West Virginia. Texas Tech was picked eighth and Kansas ninth.

Being the preseason favorite hasn’t necessarily been a positive of late: None of the past three No. 1 picks has gone on to win the regular-season title.

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