All throughout Friday, West Virginia baseball fans had plenty to be happy about.
First of all, the Mountaineers were fresh off a win over Texas Tech and had the day off, sitting in the Big 12 semifinals with a loss to give if necessary.
Second, D1Baseball elevated Morgantown to a regional host in their latest projection of the NCAA Tournament.
While everything went well off the field, there were some games throughout the country that tipped the scales for WVU’s regional hosting hopes. Let’s talk about about them.
Wichita State 12, #8 East Carolina 5
#10 Texas Tech 7, Kansas 5
Cal Poly 4, #14 UC Santa Barbara 3
Florida State 11, #15 NC State 0 (11 innings)
The big wins here for West Virginia are losses by UCSB and NC State. Both were predicted to be regional hosts earlier this week and have failed to perform well this week. The Gauchos have clinched a series loss to Cal Poly and the Wolfpack needed a ninth inning miracle to beat Wake Forest before getting mercy killed by the Seminoles.
East Carolina also fell to a below-.500 Wichita State team to exit the American Athletic Conference tournament early, but their resume is probably solid enough to keep a regional in Greenville.
Texas Tech beating Kansas is also a win for the Mountaineers as long as they take care of business on Saturday. Going 4-1 or 4-2 against the Red Raiders throughout the season will look better to the NCAA selection committee than a by-the-numbers Kansas win.
#23 North Carolina 7, #17 Miami 5
#22 Ole Miss 3, #5 Arkansas 2
#16 LSU 12, #3 Mississippi State 2
North Carolina and Ole Miss needed late rallies to beat teams currently projected to host regionals, eliminating both the Hurricanes and Razorbacks. UNC, more than the Rebels, have a solid chance of stealing a bid from WVU if they win the ACC (which is looking like a strong possibility).
The worst result for the Mountaineers is a LSU’s upset of Mississippi State in Hoover. The Tigers have had a great week at the SEC Tournament despite being on the brink of elimination. They took care of business against South Carolina before losing the most forgivable loss in college baseball in Tuesday’s 17-inning marathon against the Bulldogs. LSU would beat Auburn for another shot at MSU which they won.
They’re making a very strong case to the NCAA selection committee.
Honestly, I think more good than bad happened on West Virginia’s day off.
That being said, it is very clear that the Mountaineers NEED to take care of business against Texas Tech and again on Sunday in the Big 12 Championship. LSU and North Carolina are making strong cases for a regional hosting bid this week and could scam Morgantown out of NCAA Tournament games.