College basketball may be heading down the home stretch of its season, but college baseball is just getting started.
Earlier this month the West Virginia University baseball team (2-1) held a media event giving members of the press the ability to talk to a few players and the head coach, Randy Mazey, about the feelings surrounding the team before the Mountaineers played their first games.
The most recurring word or phrase that you could use to describe this team is young. Even though the team graduated just three seniors from a season ago, the Mountaineers are still fairly young in age.
However, as both the players and Mazey alluded to, age is just a number, and the experience that the players have makes up for it, especially when it comes to pitching.
“That’s definitely an advantage for us,” junior starting pitcher Chad Donato said. “We’ve got all three of our starters back that pitched a pretty good amount of innings in the season last year. We’ve all got experience under our belt.”
WVU’s experience pitchers showcased their talents this past weekend in WVU’s first series of the season. Senior Ross Vance pitched five innings of shutout baseball in Saturday’s 5-0 win, and sophomore starter B.J. Myers pitched eight strong innings in the Mountaineers 3-0 victory on Sunday.
Junior Jackson Cramer extended his streak of consecutive games reaching base to 23, and sophomore Kyle Davis isn’t far behind, as he brought his streak to 21 games.
It wasn’t just established veterans that played well against Charleston Southern, the young players displayed their talent over the weekend as four freshmen – Cole Austin, Jimmy Galusky, Kyle Gray and Darius Hill – all recorded the first hits of their young careers.
“If you’re going to play as a freshman you’ve got to be able to handle it and step up,” Donato said. “I think we did a pretty good job last year with how many freshman we had and they stepped up.”
A full recap of the team’s weekend series-win over the Buccaneers here (link).
Below is a two-minute audio story of the media event with quotes from Donato, Mazey and Vance.