Coming off a midweek, 13-3, seven-inning run-rule win over Houston Baptist at home Tuesday night, the Texas Longhorns (32-16, 9-9) head to Morgantown to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers (27-16, 9-6) at Monongalia County Ballpark this weekend. Texas is only 11-8 on the road, while West Virginia is 12-4 at home.
Texas is led on offense by first baseman Ivan Melendez who continues to terrorize opposing pitching. Melendez heads into the weekend with .421 batting average, ranks third in the nation with 68 RBI, and is tied for second nationally with 22 home runs. Right fielder Murphy Stehly is batting .387 with 13 home runs, 16 doubles, and 43 RBI.
Texas pitching is number two in the conference with a 4.31 ERA, but continues to struggle with lackluster performances from the bullpen.
Defensively, the Longhorns lead the conference with a .984 fielding percentage, having committed only 28 errors in 48 games while turning 27 double plays.
West Virginia comes into the weekend on a three-game winning streak after winning the Saturday and Sunday games against Kansas in Manhattan to secure that conference series last weekend. They had an exciting ninth-inning, 3-2, walk-off win at home over Charleston Wednesday night.
Catcher McGwire Holbrook leads the Mountaineers offense with a .336 batting average. He has hit six home runs with 31 RBI. First baseman Grant Hussey enters the weekend hitting .238 with nine home runs and 27 RBI. As a team, West Virginia is only ahead of TCU in the conference with a .265 batting average. When they do get on base, the Mountaineers like to run, and will likely test catcher Silas Ardoin’s arm this weekend. They have stolen 139 bases on 174 attempts thus far this season.
The Mountaineer pitching staff is third in the conference, just behind Texas, with a 4.65 ERA, and are middle of the conference defensively with a .974 fielding percentage, having committed 42 errors in 43 games.
Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Central, while Saturday’s first pitch will be at 3:00 p.m. Central. The series will conclude with a typical noon Central start for Sunday’s game. All three games will be televised on ESPN+.
Update: Friday’s game was rained out, so the two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday.
Probable pitching matchups
Friday —Texas LHP Pete Hansen (7-1, 3.20) vs. West Virginia RHP Jacob Watters (2-4, 5.27)
Saturday — Texas TBA vs. West Virginia TBA
Sunday — Texas TBA vs. West Virginia TBA