Chip Shots

by Jim Buzzerd

WVU baseball to host regional

The West Virginia University Baseball Team has taken some big steps this season. Last week the Mountaineers competed in the Big 12 tournament that began on Wednesday, May 22 with a 12-8 win over Kansas and ended Sunday with a 5-2 loss to Oklahoma State in the championship game. In between those games the Mountaineers were able to beat top seeded Texas Tech two out of three to win their side of the double elimination bracket and advance to the winner take all contest against the Cowboys.

While the championship game has escaped the Mountaineers again there was a prize at the end of the rainbow for WVU. The Mountaineers were selected as one of 16 schools to host a NCAA regional this weekend. It’s the first time since 1955 West Virginia has hosted a NCAA post-season baseball game. The Mountaineers (37-20) will be making their 13th NCAA Championship appearance in program history and hosting the event for the second time in team history. WVU, which earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship, will host a four-team NCAA Regional for the first time.

The NCAA Morgantown Regional will take place from Friday, May 31-Monday, June 3, at Monongalia County Ballpark. WVU is the 15th overall seed in the 64-team field and the top seed in the Morgantown Regional. West Virginia will open this Friday night against Fordham at 8 p.m. Second seeded Texas A&M and third seeded Duke will open the double elimination regional at 4 p.m.

“We are super excited to host an NCAA Regional and welcome everyone to Morgantown,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “This is a great opportunity for our program and all of Mountaineer Nation, and I know our team can’t wait to play in front of a packed Monongalia County Ballpark on Friday night.”

The NCAA format for its baseball championship is a 16 site four game double elimination regional with the winners advancing to an eight-site super regional for a best of three series. The eight super regional winners advance to Omaha for the College World Series.

Should WVU win their regional this weekend they would play the winner of the Nashville regional that has Vanderbilt, Indiana State, McNeese State and Ohio State in the field. Vandy is the overall number two seed and will host the Morgantown winner should they survive.  If the Mountaineers advance and Vanderbilt is upset the Super Regional will be in Morgantown.

ESPNU and ESPN2 will carry tournament games, but WVU’s Friday night game is set for ESPN3, which is a streaming channel. In addition to phones, notebooks and computers, streaming devices like Roku and Fire Stick will allow viewing on your big screen.