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May 9, 2014
Baseball Likely to Reach Regional
West Virginia and Coach Randy Mazey are on the brink of doing that hasn't been done in school history since 1996. Mazey has his Mountaineers ten games above .500 at 27-17 (9-8) putting the team in great position to reach an NCAA regional.
WVU has an RPI of 24, plus is over .500 on the road and at neutral sites.
"Overall, their resume is improving. Their record vs. the top 100 still isn't that great, but they do have some nice conference series wins now, obviously taking a series from Texas this past weekend," National College Baseball Writer and Managing Editor at Perfectgame.org Kendall Rogers said on WVSports.com Radio Wednesday night.
The Big 12 Conference is seen as by most as one of the strongest leagues nationally, which helps WVU's cause as well. All nine Big 12 teams have RPI inside the top 110. Six of those teams have RPIs inside the top 50.
"I think right now the Big 12 would be right behind the Pac-12. However, the Big 12 is significantly better than it was last year," Rogers said. "The conference RPI helps, a team like TCU has a top ten RPI. Texas has a top fifteen RPI. West Virginia has a top 30 RPI. Oklahoma State has a top 30 RPI. That makes the league look pretty good."
The RPI is high because of what they did during nonconference play. The Mountaineers took care of business early in the season against quality opponents.
West Virginia has wins over San Diego State, Coastal Carolina, Sacramento State and Ohio State out of conference in addition a 6-0 record against the ACC. WVU won on the road at then-No. 12 North Carolina on March 19 and also swept a two game series with rival Pittsburgh.
"If you go 6-0 against the ACC that tells you something, I don't care who you're playing. Whether you're playing North Carolina or Duke, its great because anytime you can get a win over another power conference is huge," said Rogers.
Finally and maybe most importantly, WVU passes the eye test. Between the arms of Harrison Musgrave, Sean Carley, John Means and the emerging Ross Vance, people in the college game look at the Mountaineers as a serious threat.
Add in that Bobby Boyd, Billy Fleming and Ryan McBroom are all in the top five of the Big 12's leading hitters proves has the offensive firepower to compete as well.
"The Mountaineers don't have just good arms, they have premium arms. Offensively, they have some guys like McBroom that are good," said Rogers. "But from a pitching standpoint that's what makes this team a postseason caliber club. I have West Virginia as a sleeper on the national stage in the postseason because of the quality of arms they have."
Rogers even went as far as to say a few of West Virginia's pitchers could go onto be top prospects at the next level.
"You have to look at Harrison Musgrave and John Means. Both of these guys are good prospects and have a chance to be pretty special," Rogers added. "Musgrave has a 90 MPH plus velocity arm. He's consistent with good command, the same goes for Means."
West Virginia finishes the regular season with Big 12 weekend series at Kansas and Texas Tech, with a nonconference road trip to College Park to take on Maryland squeezed in between.
"I think when you look at West Virginia in terms of overall record, RPI and conference record, if they can just win one of those final two Big 12 series, they'd be looking as a two seed most likely in Charlottesville," said Rogers.
Listen to the full interview with Rogers here, starting at the 16:00 minute mark.
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