In a month that began with hopes of an NCAA tournament berth, West Virginia (27-24, 9-14 Big 12) might see that bubble burst unless the team makes a run in this week’s Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship tournament.
No. 6 seed West Virginia will face No. 3 seed Kansas at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. West Virginia was swept during its regular season series at Kansas over the May 9th weekend, 5-3 on Friday, 5-2 on Saturday and 9-8 on Sunday.
Kansas comes to Oklahoma City off a 4-0 shutout at Michigan, but has won 11 of 12 games since dropping four in a row to Oklahoma State and Missouri State. The Jayhawks opened the season with 9-0, and was 21-11 before a rough stretch of the season where Kansas lost nine of 11 games through April.
Connor McKay, a junior outfielder, led Kansas this season with nine homeruns and 42 RBI. McKay also finished second on the team with a .469 slugging percentage and started all, but one of the 53 potential games for Kansas this year.
Junior right-hander Drew Morovick led both Kansas and the Big 12 with a 9-3 record, but did have a bit of an inflated ERA of 4.58 through 22 appearances. Senior Frank Duncan, another right-handed pitcher, was the workhorse of the team with 102.2 innings pitched as he tossed four complete games and struck out a team-high 76 batters.
For West Virginia, juniors Harrison Musgrave, Sean Carley and John Means each had five wins and combined 179 strikeouts to lead the pitching staff for the Mountaineers. Musgrave also averaged .218 batting average against opposing batters on top of a team-low 2.32 ERA.
Bobby Boyd and Billy Fleming finished first and second for both West Virginia and the Big 12 Conference in batting average and hits, respectively. Ryan McBroom led the team with nine homeruns and 47 RBI as the power in the middle of the lineup for the Mountaineers.
The Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship will be broadcast by Fox College Sports from Wednesday’s opening round through the semifinals on Saturday, while Fox Sports 1 will carry the championship game at 4:30PM on Sunday, May 25. You can find the rest of the pairings and times for the week here courtesy of Big12Sports.com.
The West Virginia-Kansas winner will move on to face the winner of No. 2 seed TCU-No. 7 seed Baylor at 4 p.m. on Thursday.