On May 23, the WVU baseball team was eliminated from the Big 12 Baseball Tournament at the hands of the Baylor Bears, a team they had previously swept in the regular season. The season came to a screeching halt for the Mountaineers, as they lost 9 of their last 10 games, and were one of the first four teams out of the NCAA Baseball Tournament. The season started on a high note, and the tournament was in the Mountaineers sights. Even with the bad finish, the Mountaineers are set up to have a positive and successful future under the leadership of coach Randy Mazey.
Let's look back to prior to Randy Mazey, known as the Greg Van Zant era. In can be summed up by looking at the website www.gvz-sucks.com. Among the highlights: Under Van Zant, the WVU baseball team gave up a 17 run inning to Villanova, Van Zant asked umpires for the mercy rule to be enforced, and one former player stating Van Zant took a game the player loved for 14 years and managed to crush it. Really, it could probably only get better after WVU fired Van Zant. But little did they know, they found a gem in Mazey.
Mazey was plucked from TCU, where he was an assistant coach from 2006 through 2012. Mazey also had experience coaching with college baseball powerhouses Clemson, Georgia, and Tennessee. Mazey also played college baseball with the Clemson Tigers and was drafted by the Cleveland Indians organization. One big advantage Mazey brings is experience. He has been around the block at various levels and can translate and relate to current college players because of this experience. Players trust what Mazey teaches them and that trust translates out onto the baseball field.
In Mazey's first season, the Mountaineers were predicted to finish last in their Big 12 inaugural season. Mazey shocked the conference, leading the Mountaineers to a 33-26 record, finishing third in the conference. It was the Mountaineers first winning season since 2009. The Big 12 is often considered a top tier baseball conference, with powerhouses Texas, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State. WVU has matched up well with these powers, even ruffled some feathers. This past season, benches cleared against Texas. And last year, Oklahoma refused to shake hands with the Mountaineers after WVU took 2 of 3 from OU in Charleston, WV. WVU has made a name for itself in the Big 12.
Another positive step Mazey has taken has been getting his family involved in the community. His wife Amanda currently works for MSN (Mountaineer Sports Network) through IMG, covering Mountaineer sports. They have shown their face all around the Morgantown community and gotten involved in various charity events. Everyone has only positive statements for the Mazey family.
With the recent success of the Mountaineer baseball team, Mazey's coaching, and the new stadium coming to Morgantown, optimism is high for the WVU baseball team. There is reason to expect an NCAA tournament berth in the near future, and the continued success for Mountaineer baseball should remain.