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West Virginia Mountaineers Vs. Texas Longhorns Preview: The Most Important Series of the Season

There is a lot at stake this weekend in Austin.

John Lowe/The Daily Athenaeum

OPENING THOUGHTS

Well, we beat Pitt.

Mainly because Jackson Sigman is an amazing pitcher, but also because the Panthers are terrible.

It’s always good sweeping that school, but we need to move past it now.

As you watch or listen this weekend, keep in mind that this series is the most important series that WVU will play this regular season because it holds the biggest conference implications.

Depending on what happens this weekend, the Mountaineers could end up anywhere between 3rd and 7th in the Big 12.

With WVU not having a complete lock on a spot in the NCAA Regionals, perception needs to be important. Remember that the Mountaineers should have probably been in last season, but the perception was bad due to a mediocre conference finish and some early season struggles.

That in mind, the Longhorns present an interesting challenge. No one in college baseball media has been able to get a consistent reading from Texas.

They currently sit as a projected three seed line in the NCAA Regionals, so let’s call them a bubble team.

As we know in college basketball, bubble teams are always dangerous.

So let’s find a television or radio and root for the Mountaineers to finish this storybook regular season strong.

WHEN/WHERE

Game 1: Friday, May 19th at 7:30 PM ET/6:30 PM CT

Game 2: Saturday, May 20th at 5:00 PM ET/4:00 PM CT

Game 3: Sunday, May 21st at 2:00 PM ET/1:00 PM CT

Where: UFCU Disch-Falk Field, Austin, TX

Tickets: General Public (Game 1, Game 2, Game 3)

WATCH/LISTEN

TV: Longhorn Network

Streaming Video: WatchESPN (or the ESPN app for smartphones and tablets)

Radio: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG (Affiliates)

Streaming Audio: Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG on TuneIn Radio (or the TuneIn app for smartphones and tablets)

STARTING PITCHERS (WVU VS. UT)

Game 1: BJ Myers (4-2, 3.90 ERA) vs. Nolan Kingham (7-4, 2.90 ERA)

Game 2: Alek Manoah (1-1, 2.70 ERA) vs. Morgan Cooper (6-2, 2.27 ERA)

Game 3: TBD vs. Kyle Johnston (2-1, 3.24 ERA)

BIG 12 STANDINGS

TEAM RECORD
TEAM RECORD
#7 TCU (37-13) 16-8
#4 Texas Tech (39-13) 13-8
#21 Oklahoma (34-18) 12-9
West Virginia (31-20) 11-10
Baylor (33-17) 11-10
Kansas (29-23) 11-10
Texas (32-19) 9-11
Oklahoma State (24-25) 6-14
Kansas State (27-25) 6-15

THE ENEMY

Where are they from? Austin, Texas

Series History: WVU leads series 7-4

Last Time: West Virginia 7, Texas 4 on May 8, 2016 in Granville

SB Nation Blog: Burnt Orange Nation

Record: 32-19 (9-11 Big 12)

Head Coach: David Pierce

KEYS TO THE SERIES

  • Fielding. Texas is one of the best teams in the country when it comes to fielding percentage. The Mountaineers need to find the gap when they’re at the plate.
  • The bottom of the inning. The Longhorns are not one of the best hitting teams and WVU’s pitching has been much more impressive as of late. The series will be won or lost on the bottom half of each inning.

HOW AFRAID SHOULD WE BE? (SCALE 1-10)

Three. I’m as afraid of Texas as I am of these newer-looking Disney shorts.

I grew up on “House of Mouse” so this is just wrong.

PREDICTION THAT SHOULD BE RIGHT

In this vital series, I see the Mountaineers doing just enough on Friday and Saturday to win the series.

West Virginia wins series 2-1