MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A new era in West Virginia baseball is set to begin this weekend as first-year coach Randy Mazey will take the Mountaineers to North Florida from Feb. 15-17.
The season opens at 6 p.m. on Friday, followed by a game on Saturday at 1 p.m. before concluding the weekend series on Sunday at noon.
“You don’t necessarily have to be a good team in February; you have to be a good team in May and June,” coach Randy Mazey says. “Regardless of what happens, after every game we’re going to try to get better. Win, lose or draw we’re going to get better throughout the year and hopefully be playing our best baseball at the end of the year.”
Mazey has tabbed junior right-hander Corey Walter
as the Friday night starter for the Mountaineers. Sophomore left-hander Harrison Musgrave
will be the Mountaineers’ starter on Saturday, and senior right-hander Dan Dierdorff
is WVU’s Sunday starter.
Walter will be starting his second-consecutive opening day after posting a 6-5 record and a 4.58 ERA last year. Musgrave will be pitching his first game in almost two years as he is returning from Tommy John surgery. Musgrave went 4-2 with a 4.61 ERA in 2011. Dierdorff became a weekend starter midway through the 2012 season and finished as WVU’s strikeout leader with 61.
Key returnees from last year’s squad include infielders Ryan McBroom
and Billy Fleming
, outfielders Bobby Boyd
and Brady Wilson
, catcher Alan Filauro
and designated hitter Matt Frazer
. Boyd led the Mountaineers in batting average (.321) and stolen bases (23), while McBroom and Frazer each hit a team-high six homers.
A foursome of junior college transfers is expected to come in and immediately help the Mountaineers in the field and at the plate. Michael Constantini
and Ryan Tuntland
will start at shortstop and third base, respectively, as Jacob Rice
and Taylor Munden
will likely patrol the outfield.
The Ospreys are coached by Smoke Laval, who is in his third season at the helm.
Laval led North Florida to a 31-24 record last season, including a 12-15 mark in Atlantic Sun play. Among North Florida’s top returning players is outfielder Tyler Marincov, who started all 55 games last season, leading the team in batting average (.332), while also posting 10 doubles, three triples, nine homers, 40 RBIs and nine stolen bases.
“I’ve played against Smoke before when he was at LSU and Tim Parenton (assistant coach) when he was at Florida. I know those guys real well,” Mazey says. “They’ll coach them right, they do a good job. They have four all-conference guys returning, they have guys who have hit over .300 in the past and the No. 1 pitcher (Tyler Moore) is real good.”
The right-handed Moore will get the start on Friday for North Florida going 7-3 last season with a 2.16 ERA in 18 appearances. Moore struck out a team-high 88 batters in 79.0 innings. Right-hander Kyle Westwood will get the nod on Saturday looking to build on last season where he went 6-4 with a 2.84 ERA and four complete games. Righty Nick Albritton will start on Sunday after being primarily used out of the bullpen in 2012, appearing in 19 games with a 3.19 ERA.
A full recap and live stats of each game will be available at WVUsports.com.