Maybe it meant a little more for Wheeling, WV native Michael Grove when he was told that he was going to get the start on the mound this past Tuesday for the Mountaineers (31-19) when they took on border-rival Maryland.
Grove, who made his fourth start of the season against the Terrapins on the rainy Tuesday night, struck out a career-high 13 batters through 6.2 innings on the mound.
Not only was the performance good enough help West Virginia get the win, but it was also good enough to earn Grove Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors – the second time this season he’s been recognized with the award.
Grove joins a list of now 10 Mountaineer players this season who have gotten conference recognition, a school record since the team joined the Big 12.
It’s also the fourth consecutive week a Mountaineer player has been recognized by the Big 12.
The freshman pitcher recorded each of the first five outs of the game via strikeouts, and also tossed multiple K’s in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings. Grove sat at least one batter down on strikes in each inning he was on the mound.
His 13 strikeouts not only sets a career-best, but it also ties the team lead for most strikeouts in a single game this season, tying him with Chad Donato.
West Virginia end the last week of the regular season with one game Tuesday on the road against Pittsburgh, and then with a three-game series Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Lubbock, Tx against Big 12-leading Texas Tech.