The No. 21 West Virginia Mountaineers split a four-game series with the Georgia State Panthers over the weekend.
The Mountaineers won game one in a 10-inning thriller on Friday night, but the Panthers got their revenge on Saturday in game one of a doubleheader. West Virginia trailed 6-3 to push the game into extra innings, but a walk-off RBI single by Georgia State captured game two.
In game two of the doubleheader, Georgia State put up 11 runs in the first inning to coast to a 20-4 victory. However, West Virginia bounced back and got back into the win column on Sunday with a 3-2 win.
“We talked about over a course of a long season you’re going to play a lot of different games,” said head coach Randy Mazey. “You’re going to play extra-inning games at home - you’re going to play on a good end of blowouts, you’re going to be on the back end of blowouts - you’re going to play one-run games where you’re going to have to close out on the road – seems like we covered every scenario in one weekend. So, that’s really good experience for us to be in all those games.”
Mazey threw seven freshmen into the mix, including West Virginia native Mikey Kluska, who started all four games and finished the weekend 3-13 (.231) at the plate.
“The freshman got a lot of at bats this weekend which usually have to wait 10-15 games to get that many at bats, so a lot of good things happened,” said Mazey. “Obviously, fresh out of the indoor – we got some things to work on but really pleased with walking out of here with a split.”
Offensively, it’s not uncommon for West Virginia to have a slow start due to having to practice indoors all winter, and it takes some adjustment.
“It always takes us 15 or 20 games to get rolling offensively, and this year won’t be any different, I’m sure,” said Mazey. “It’s hard to come out of the indoor and just smash balls all over the field; it takes you a while to get our feet under you. I know we have a good offensive club, and over time I think that will show up; we just have to try and grind out wins in the meantime.”
West Virginia is back in action Friday (Feb. 26) in Conway, SC, for the Coastal Carolina University Baseball Tournament against Kennesaw State. Then, on Saturday, the Mountaineers take on Coastal Carolina before facing Bryant on Sunday.
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