Texas Longhorns baseball (32-19, 9-11 Big 12) hosts the West Virginia Mountaineers (31-20, 11-10 Big 12) Friday night at 6:30 p.m. CT to begin a pivotal season-concluding, three-game series.
In D1 Baseball’s May 16th NCAA tournament projection, Texas was the No. 3 seed in the Fayetteville regional while West Virginia was the No. 2 seed in Charlottesville. With both teams (especially Texas) hovering dangerously close to the bubble, neither team can afford being swept this weekend.
In fact, the ‘Horns may need to take two out of three this weekend to feel comfortable about the postseason heading into the Big 12 tournament.
West Virginia’s ace starting pitcher Michael Grove will be unable to pitch after sustaining an injury on April 22nd. The Mountaineers also lost weekend starter Conner Dotson for the season after an April injury.
This should give the ‘Horns a clear starting pitching advantage. Expect Texas to roll with Nolan Kingham (2.90 ERA), Dick Howser award semifinalist Morgan Cooper (2.27 ERA), and Kyle Johnston (3.24 ERA).
The Longhorns’ pitching stats have inflated a bit after being swept by TCU last weekend, but the ‘Horns still own a stout 3.13 ERA. The Mountaineers sit at a still decent 4.04 ERA.
Like most teams, where West Virginia outshines Texas is on offense. The Mountaineers are hitting .284 as a team compared to Texas’ .250 mark. Junior infielder Kyle Davis is WVU’s most productive hitter. He owns a .328/.547/.416 slash-line and has a tied for team high eight homers on the year.
Expect a highly competitive weekend with two evenly matched teams fighting for an NCAA tournament bid. The outcome of this series could determine whether David Pierce’s first season at Texas is deemed a clear success or not.
You can catch the action on the Longhorn Network or tune in on 104.9 the Horn.