WVU Baseball Takes on Marshall in Charleston - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Baseball Takes on Marshall in Charleston

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MORGANTOWN - Even in the midst of a seven-game losing streak, Randy Mazey felt certain that he was still fielding a quality team.

Now, with six-straight wins and taking eight of their last nine, the West Virginia Mountaineers baseball team is quite confident that he was right all along.

After a sweep of last year’s Big 12 champions, WVU has climbed back to .500 in the conference with a 24-16 overall record.

“This league is tough,” Mazey said following the 6-1 win over Kansas State on Sunday. “TCU is really cooking right now and so is Oklahoma State. We never got down on anybody and stayed positive and we knew it was going to turn on us and right now, we’re feeling pretty confident at the plate, on the mound, on defense. The character of this team is starting to show up.”

The characters on the team are showing up, too.

West Virginia’s home dugout at Hawley Field has been one of the most energetic, entertaining places to be as the players do their best wrestling impressions and carry around a hammer like a character out of a Marvel Comics movie. 

It is fun to play baseball with the Mountaineers, and of course winning helps keep it that way.

“It’s just a lot more energy,” junior catcher Cam O’Brien said of his team’s current state. “You play well and lose, you’re still human beings, you’re going to be down about it. Now that we’re winning, there’s a lot more energy like we had at the beginning of the year and it’s contagious. Everyone’s having fun out there.”

The result is a steadying and now a climb in the RPI as WVU moves back toward the top 20 with a No. 26 ranking as of Tuesday. Knowing that the postseason is this team’s goal, it is imperative that the Mountaineers treat each game as the biggest of the year.

Next on that list is a rescheduled Marshall in Charleston. Junior right-hander Michael Bennett will get the mid-week start as West Virginia looks to complete the series sweep after beating Marshall 10-3 in Morgantown last week.

“Our RPI is pretty high right now and our record isn’t great, but we’ve given ourselves the chance to make the postseason for the first time in awhile,” center fielder Bobby Boyd said. “[Wednesday] is a huge game. We really need to come out and beat our state rivals. I think we’ll be fired up and we’ll get the job done.”

Mazey said last week’s meeting with the Thundering Herd was the definition of a trap game, coming after a 14-2 slaughter of Maryland and before the weekend series with Kansas State. Now, it comes at a perfect time to keep his Mountaineers’ momentum going before they host Texas.

“We’re swinging the bats pretty well right now and when you’re doing that, you don’t want to take too much time off,” Mazey said. “Originally, we didn’t have a game this week and this was the makeup game of the one we got rained out. It couldn’t have come at a better time to keep our hitters in the groove of seeing live pitching before we play Texas.”

First pitch against Marshall is set for 6 p.m. from Appalachian Power Park.

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