Baseball: WVU Set to Complete Regular Season

  • By Grant Dovey
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  • May 16, 2012 04:12 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University baseball team will play its final BIG EAST regular-season series this weekend, May 17-19, against USF, at Hawley Field.

Game one (Thursday) and game two (Friday) of the series will start at 7:05 p.m., while the series finale (Saturday) will begin at 1 p.m.

Live video, audio and stats for all three games will be available via MSNsportsNET.com, while fans can hear the game locally on WAJR-1440 AM with Kyle Wiggs and Ernie Galusky on the call.

The first 100 fans to walk through the gates on Thursday will receive a free t-shirt from the Mountaineer Maniacs, while Friday night has been designated as a “Dollar Night,” with all tickets, hot dogs, popcorn and Coca-Colas available for $1 each. Left-handed pitcher Eric Hinkle will be honored prior to Saturday’s season finale as the lone senior on the 2012 squad.

WVU (21-31 overall, 7-17 BIG EAST) is currently in 11th place in the BIG EAST standings and still has a shot at qualifying for the BIG EAST Tournament if the Mountaineers can sweep the Bulls. USF (33-18, 16-8), battling for the conference’s top spot, is currently in a tie for second place with Louisville. Both teams trail St. John’s by one game.

The Mountaineers are coming off a 5-1 victory over La Salle on Tuesday evening in the final non-conference game of the season. Sophomore left-hander Zach Bargeron let up one run on three hits in his first career complete game. Offensively, freshman second baseman Billy Fleming recorded two hits, two doubles, two runs and a walk.

Sophomore right-hander Corey Walter (5-5, 4.65 ERA), who leads the BIG EAST in innings pitched with 91, will start Thursday’s game. Van Zant has yet to decide on a Friday and Saturday starter. USF coach Lelo Prado will counter with a trio of seniors in left-hander Andrew Barbosa (7-4, 2.17 ERA) on Thursday, right-hander Derrick Stultz (8-1, 3.12 ERA) on Friday and left-hander Matt Reed (4-3, 2.67 ERA) on Saturday.

WVU ranks No. 10 in the BIG EAST with a .260 team batting average, and the Mountaineers have collected 23 homers and 44 steals in 66 attempts.

Junior shortstop John Polonius leads WVU with a .321 batting average, and he has collected seven doubles, two home runs, 19 RBIs and four stolen bases.

WVU freshman center fielder Bobby Boyd is hitting .318 with 37 runs, seven doubles, one triple, two homers, 18 RBIs and a team-high 22 stolen bases. Fleming is batting .306 with six doubles and 20 RBIs while sophomore designated hitter Matt Frazer is hitting .294 with 22 doubles, six homers and 28 RBIs.

USF is hitting .258 as a team (No. 12 in the BIG EAST) with 21 home runs and 34 steals in 51 attempts. The Bulls are led at the plate by sophomore outfielder James Ramsey, who is hitting .325 with seven doubles, two homers, 27 RBIs and 13 stolen bases, while senior outfielder Alex Mendez is batting .282 with six doubles, two triples, two homers and 29 RBIs.

WVU trails in the overall series with the Bulls, 12-6, though the Mountaineers won two-of-three last season at USF.