Mountaineers Say Goodbye to Hawley with Texas Series - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Mountaineers Say Goodbye to Hawley with Texas Series

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WVU says goodbye to Hawley Field this weekend. WVU says goodbye to Hawley Field this weekend.
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MORGANTOWN - This weekend marks a Hawley Field farewell, but the West Virginia baseball team is hoping it has a lot more to celebrate by the time the final home series has been played.

The Mountaineers (24-16, 7-7) welcome the No. 19/22 Texas Longhorns (33-13, 10-8) in an effort to get back above .500 in the conference for the first time since early April. Texas has a longstanding tradition as one of college baseball’s powers and Coach Randy Mazey hopes that fact will draw fans, but not overwhelm his team.

“Texas is Texas now,” Mazey said after WVU completed a sweep of Kansas State last weekend. It’s traditionally one of the best teams in the history of college baseball, so it’s going to be a treat for our kids to play against them, a treat for all of the fans to come out and see them play.

“We just can’t get caught up in the uniform they’re wearing. We’ve just got to come out and play our game. Their pitchers have to throw it across the plate just like everybody else’s. As long as we do what we do, I like our chances.”

West Virginia did not get caught up in the burnt orange when the Mountaineers went on the road to Austin last season and took the series from the Longhorns in their own ballpark, so it is safe to assume that Mazey’s crew will take the right mentality into the games starting Friday night.

Winners of six-straight and eight of their last nine, these players are riding high, full of confidence.

“I think that’s why we’ve played well this season, because I think our team knows that I’m extremely confident in them,” Mazey said. “Even when we weren’t playing that well, I still had a ton of confidence in our guys and I think when they sense that, it filters down through them and they’re confident in each other and confident in themselves, so our entire dugout is filled with confidence right now.”

Big 12 Newcomer of the Week, Ross Vance (3-0), will move into the Saturday starting role after Harrison Musgrave (4-3) handles Friday night’s duties. Junior John Means (5-1) will be on the mound to close out the series on Sunday.

That finale on Sunday is the last WVU game ever at Hawley Field. The Mountaineers have played baseball on that field for 44 years, but it all comes to an end in grand fashion with a number of events planned to honor the history and tradition of WVU baseball.

The Varsity Club is hosting an alumni reunion weekend, complete with a golf outing and on-field recognition during Saturday’s game. On Sunday, Bill Hawley will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Bill is the son of Roy “Legs” Hawley, whom Hawley Field is named after.

“It’s really important to all of us because there have been so many great players play on that field,” Mazey said. “A lot of guys are going to come back and stand on that field on last time before whatever happens to her happens to her. It’s going to be an emotional weekend for a lot of people, an exciting weekend for the fans and the community.”

While Director of Athletics Oliver Luck has stated that he is currently unsure of what Hawley Field will be turned into in the coming years, construction of the Mountaineers’ future home is well underway.

A brand new, $21 million ballpark awaits the WVU baseball team in what will be Mazey’s third year as head coach.

“I think you can effectively turn the page after Sunday’s game,” Mazey said. “There’s just nothing but bright future ahead of us. Along with progress comes change.

“I think this is a big moment in the future of WVU baseball.”

First pitch on Friday is set for 6 p.m.

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