The West Virginia Mountaineers are building something special in the baseball program. Coach Randy Mazey has earned enough goodwill that voters have placed the Mountaineers 22nd in the initial D1Baseball.com baseball rankings.
The Mountaineers are one of four Big 12 teams ranked.
The 2017 conference co-champions Texas Tech Red Raiders are 3rd in the rankings after finishing 13th last year. The Red Raiders “won” the conference thanks to their 2-1 series win over TCU Horned Frogs. Both Tech and TCU finished the year 16-8 in conference. The Red Raiders were eliminated from the Big 12 Tournament by West Virginia and then lost in the NCAA Regionals to Sam Houston State.
The 2017 conference co-champion TCU Horned Frogs are 7th after finishing last year at #4 and earning a berth in the College World Series. The Horned Frogs lost to eventual National Champions Florida Gators.
The Texas Longhorns are the other Big 12 team ranked. The Longhorns made a run in the Big 12 tournament, losing to tournament champion Oklahoma State Cowboys 8-6. Then the Longhorns advanced to the Long Beach Regional Final before losing to host Long Beach State.
The Mountaineers are led by sophomore infielder Cole Austin who slashed .302/.345/.459 with 7 homeruns and 13 doubles. Austin was also 9 for 12 in stolen bases. WVU will need to replace sluggers Kyle Davis and Jackson Cramer. Davis pounded 10 homers and 13 doubles while Cramer led the team with 11 home runs and 14 doubles.
West Virginia will open the season against Jacksonville on February 16 in a three-game series. Full D1Baseball rankings can be found here.