Chip Shots – Bittersweet ending to baseball season

Bittersweet ending to baseball season

by Jim Buzzerd

Last week was the first time I mentioned the West Virginia University baseball team in the 2023 season. They were having a fantastic season. The Mountaineers were 39-13 overall and 15-6 in the Big 12 heading into a three game series at Texas last weekend. They had a two game lead and needed just one win to clinch a share of the regular season championship. The outright championship was certainly attainable and expected by many.

Well, the weekend didn’t go as well as the Mountaineers had hoped. WVU was swept by the red hot Longhorns, and WVU struggled to be competitive. They lost 12-4, 10-4 and 7-3. Texas struck early and often in the series, after two innings in each game they held leads of 6-0, 7-1 and 5-0. West Virginia could never dig itself out of the deficits. They did have chances to get back into Saturday’s finale, but were turned away each time.

The headline above is misleading because the season is not over, just the regular season. Conference tournament games begin Wednesday and the NCAA follows. Bittersweet is apt because during Friday’s loss news of the Oklahoma State loss to Oklahoma guaranteed WVU a share of the regular season title. That should be great news, but to win the title outright West Virginia would have to rally in game two or win Saturday. Long story short, Texas’ win Saturday gave them a share of the title with WVU and Oklahoma State who won their game Saturday. A share of the regular season title is indeed an excellent

accomplishment for the program. For me at least, it feels a little hollow when just one more win would have given the Mountaineers the outright title and the one seed in this week’s tournament. Due to tiebreakers West Virginia is now the three seed.

Coach Randy Mazey is keeping it positive. “It’s the first time in the history of the program that we’ve ever won the Big 12,” said Mazey. “We try every year to accomplish things that have never been done here before and we did that. We have a lot of baseball still left to play, but we can’t let one weekend change how we feel about the season we had.”

2023 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship Schedule (ET) Wednesday, May 24

Game 1 – No. 4 TCU vs. No. 5 Kansas State – 10 a.m. – ESPNU

Game 2 – No. 1 Texas vs. No. 8 Kansas – 1:30 p.m. – Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 3 – No. 2 Oklahoma State vs. No. 7 Oklahoma – 5 p.m. – Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 4 – No. 3 West Virginia vs. No. 6 Texas Tech – 8:30 p.m. – Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Thursday, May 25

Game 5 – Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser – 10 a.m. – Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 6 – Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser – 1:30 p.m. – Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 7 – Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner – 5 p.m. – ESPNU

Game 8 – Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner – 8:30 p.m. – ESPNU

Friday, May 26

Game 9 – Game 7 Loser vs. Game 5 Winner – 4 p.m. – Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 10 – Game 8 Loser vs. Game 6 Winner – 7:30 p.m. – Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Saturday, May 27

Game 11 – Game 9 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner – 10 a.m. – Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 12 – Game 8 Winner vs. Game 10 Winner – 1:30 p.m. – Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 13 – Game 11 Loser vs. Game 11 Winner (if necessary) – 5 p.m. – Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Game 14 – Game 12 Loser vs. Game 12 Winner (if necessary) – 5 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. – Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Sunday, May 28

Game 15 – Championship Game – 6 p.m. – ESPNU