West Virginia baseball is off to another hot start for 2020, and they get the chance to keep it going in a three-game road series against Mercer starting Friday.
The Mountaineers’ week got off to a good start after they hosted Kent State at Monongalia County Ballpark on Wednesday, utilizing four pitchers to no-hit the Golden Flashes while putting 8 runs of their own on the board. This series might not come quite as easily to WVU, as Mercer (11-1) has yet to lose to an unranked team this season.
It’s still early in the season, but Randy Mazey’s Mountaineers are close to the top of several statistical categories — both individually and as a team. WVU is ranked top-ten nationally with 7 triples and 28 stolen bases, while also making waves defensively with 5.88 hits allowed per nine innings (11th in the country) and a 1.01 WHIP (15th).
Braden Zarbnisky has made a bombastic return to the lineup, and will look to keep it going in his home state. The Georgia native is ranked top 20 in five categories, including his 24 hits (No. 2 in the nation), .471 batting average (No. 20) and 8 stolen bases (No. 12).
Jackson Wolf (2-1 W-L, 1.40 ERA) will start the series off on the mound for the Mountaineers. Of his three starts so far, two of them have been quality and earned wins. He will be followed by sophomore righty Ryan Bergert (2-0, 2.75 ERA) on Saturday and freshman lefty Jake Carr (2-1, 1.89 ERA) on Sunday.
Craig Gibson is in his 17th year as the Bears’ head coach, with a record of 554-383 in his tenure. His squad began the season with an 11-game win streak, but took their first loss on the road to No. 11 Florida State.
Fans can follow the action through the baseball team’s official social media accounts, @WVUBaseball, or via the live states on MercerBears.com.