Jayhawks Close Big 12 Road Slate at West Virginia
April 25, 2013
BECKLEY, W.Va. – Kansas baseball will hit the road for its final Big 12 series away from Hoglund Ballpark when it travels to Beckley, W. Va., taking on West Virginia in a three-game set. The Jayhawks and Mountaineers will meet at 5:30 p.m. (CT) on Friday, 3 p.m. on Saturday and wrap up the series at 1 p.m., Sunday.
ON THE AIR: All three games from the West Virginia series will be broadcast live on KLWN Radio (1320 AM) as well as on AT&T Jayhawk All-Access. Veteran play-by-play man Tom Hedrick and Kyle West will call the action from Linda K. Epling Stadium.
SERIES HISTORY: The three-game series will mark KU’s first contests against West Virginia as well as its first games in the Mountain state.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS: Kansas has won three-straight conference series, which includes taking the first two games at Texas Tech last weekend. The Jayhawks are 7-8 in true road games this season and 10-5 in the month of April.
KU’s offense ranks fifth in the Big 12 with a .278 team batting average. The Jayhawks have stolen 79 bases in 99 attempts and are averaging 5.6 runs per game. Sophomore OF Michael Suiter leads KU and ranks ninth in the Big 12 Conference with a .354 batting average. The second-year outfielder has seven doubles, a triple and 20 RBIs this year. Senior 1B/C Alex DeLeon has provided pop in the middle of the order with 12 doubles, five homers and a team-best 33 RBIs.
The Jayhawks’ pitching staff is fifth in the league with a 3.66 ERA, while holding opponents to a .267 batting average. Senior RHP Thomas Taylor paces the starting rotation with a 4-0 record and a 2.47 ERA in nine starts. Junior RHP Jordan Piché has been dominant out of the KU bullpen. The Jayhawk closer is 5-1 with a miniscule 0.47 ERA in 18 appearances. He has the conference lead with eight saves and has fanned 29 in 38 innings.
LAST TIME OUT: Senior Kevin Kuntz and junior Tucker Tharp each had two hits and multiple stolen bases, while Alex DeLeon hit a three-run homer as Kansas downed Baker University, 7-1, Wednesday night in a non-conference game at Hoglund Ballpark.
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAINEERS: West Virginia enters the weekend series having won five of its last six and 9-of-14 overall in the month of April. The Mountaineers will be playing at Epling Stadium for the first time this season after playing much of their home schedule in Charleston, W. Va. WVU is 10-1 at home this year, which includes a series win against Texas Tech in late March.
The Mountaineers offense ranks fourth in the Big 12 with a .286 team batting average with 24 homers and 55 stolen bases. WVU is averaging 5.1 runs per game and reaching base at a .358 clip. Junior 3B Ryan Tuntland is fourth in the Big 12 with a .370 batting average. Tuntland has seven doubles, two homers and a .457 on-base percentage. Junior 1B Ryan McBroom is batting .278, but is fourth in the conference in doubles (13) and second in homers (eight); he has posted a .523 slugging percentage.
WVU’s pitching staff is seventh in the Big 12 with a 3.88 ERA, allowing opponents a .256 batting average. The Mountaineer pitchers have allowed 159 walks and recorded 238 strikeouts. Sophomore LHP Harrison Musgrave is the ace of the staff with a 6-1 record and a 2.70 ERA in 10 starts. Musgrave has not lost a decision in Big 12 play this season and has collected 46 strikeouts in 63 1/3 innings. Junior RHP Pascal Paul is West Virginia’s closer. Paul is 3-3 with six saves and a 2.67 ERA in 18 relief appearances.
Head coach Randy Mazey is in his first season at West Virginia. Mazey is 24-18 in his first season with the Mountaineers and is 210-178 in seven years as a head coach, which includes time at East Carolina and Charleston Southern. Most recently, Mazey was an assistant coach at TCU, helping the Horned Frogs reach the College World Series in 2010.