The West Virginia University baseball team entered its final regular season series with a chance to win the Big 12 regular season title. WVU opened that series with a 7-4 loss Thursday night. That eliminated the Mountaineers from a chance to earn a share of the title.
Typically Harrison Musgrave gets the start in game one of a conference series. However, Head Coach Randy Mazey refuses to run Musgrave out there on short rest for that start or perhaps any start this weekend.
Musgrave struck out 14 batters in a complete game shutout against TCU last weekend. He was supposed to pitch last Friday, but weather pushed that game back to Saturday. Musgrave threw 143 pitches in the game and typically gets a full week between starts.
"He got pushed back from Friday to Saturday and this weekend is pushed up from Friday to Thursday," Mazey said. "So, we are not going to throw him on short rest."
Musgrave may not pitch in this series against Oklahoma State at all. It all depends what the conference title race looks like on Saturday.
"If at all, he will throw on Saturday down there if it means winning the Championship," Mazey stated. "If it doesn't mean winning the championship then he will not throw at all this weekend and he will throw the first game of the conference tournament."
Mazey sent senior right-hander Dan Dierdorff to the mound in game one. Sophomore left-hander John Means is scheduled to start tonight's game.
Mazey has made it clear the Mountaineers were not in position to win a regular season Big 12 title this late in the season without Musgrave's brilliance on the mound. Musgrave is still unbeaten in Big 12 play and has won the Big 12 pitcher of the week honor four times this season.
Game two of the three-game series will be played tonight at 7:30. The series finale on Saturday is set for 4 p.m.
The Big 12 tournament is set to begin next Wednesday in Oklahoma City.