From the Bottom to Here, Mountaineers in First - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

From the Bottom to Here, Mountaineers in First

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MORGANTOWN -

That first place West Virginia baseball team is turning heads across the state.

With a 29-20 overall and a league-best 11-7 Big 12 showing, Coach Randy Mazey and his Mountaineers are the talk of the WVU sports world after their series win over No. 10 Oklahoma.

The climb to this point has been faster than anyone could have expected when the season began as Mazey has revitalized a program that desperately needed it.

Junior pitcher Zach Bargeron used a line from rapper Drake's latest single when he took to Twitter Sunday night to show just how far the Mountaineers have come from their preseason expectations.

"Started from the bottom now we're here," he tweeted, along with quite a fitting photo.

It was the preseason poll, which had West Virginia picked ninth out of a nine-team league. It showed the lack of faith in the new coach to make a reasonable turnaround in just one offseason, plus a tougher league and a nomadic approach to the home schedule would leave the Mountaineers at the bottom of the Big 12.

That's where they started.

Next to that photo, though, Bargeron posted the current standings. His team's name right up alongside that of Kansas State and Oklahoma, the perennial power with Major League prospects, all three sitting atop the conference.

That's where WVU is now.

The image evokes a laugh. Who would have thought when Mazey began working with his pitchers and catchers and introducing new uniforms that the results of whatever culture change he brought from TCU would be so evident so soon?

You are dared to raise your hand.

There was plenty of excitement, and rightly so, but the idea that the hire would be – forgive the pun – a home run in the first season just did not seem reasonable.

The 6-9 start backed up that assessment, but when they took the series against Texas Tech before rattling off eight-straight wins, there was no choice but to notice what was happening in Morgantown. And Charleston and Beckley.

Until just a week ago, the Mountaineers hadn't lost a game at Hawley Field, that same place they can't wait to vacate. They fell to Pittsburgh that night, but the crowd packed into the bleachers and spilling out onto the hill along the third base line represented a real victory.

It showed that if baseball can stay relevant in this town, it is worthy of the new digs that are in its future.

Mazey said that day that signing the bill that would ultimately bring his team's new home into law was perhaps the biggest event in program history. He also pointed out just how impressed he was to see the record attendance that he hopes will follow the Mountaineers up the road once construction is complete.

"I thought, okay, this is Big 12 baseball right here," Mazey said. "This is a Big 12 atmosphere and if people will just continue to stay with us and follow us … Tonight was the epitome of the future of Mountaineer baseball here."

The head coach constantly asks fans to attend the games not only for their personal entertainment, but for the impact they can have on the outcome by being involved and excited from the stands.

Mazey could preach those words all he wants, but the real way to get them across is to give the fans a reason to be loud, a reason to be entertained and a reason to return.

He and his team have done that; they continue to do so as the season progresses.

That's how they outdrew the entirety of last season's attendance in just the past four games.

So use whatever term you want. It's "Mazey Ball," it's "aMAZEYing," it's winning baseball at West Virginia University. 

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