Series Preview: WVU battles Penn St.

By Ryan Decker

Tuesday begins a long week of baseball for West Virginia (27-19), which will play five games in six days starting today.

The first two games of the long week will be played against Big Ten opponent Penn State (14-32).

Randy Mazey’s club will host the Nittany Lions at Monongalia County Ballpark Tuesday, before the two clubs travel up I-79 for Wednesday’s game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

 

Neither team enters play on Tuesday playing great, record-wise.

Penn State is in the midst of its second six-game losing streak of the season, and is just 2-8 in its last ten games.

West Virginia has played to just a 4-6 record over its last ten contests, and is coming off a series loss at home over the weekend against No. 4 Texas Tech. WVU did end the series on a high note by claiming a one-run victory on Sunday.

Despite only being able to take one out of three against the Red Raiders, Mazey seems pleased with his team’s performance, specifically on the mound.

“That’s as good a weekend as we can have under the circumstances with the rain, and the injuries, and the freshmen that went out there and pitched,” Mazey said following Sunday’s game. “We went into this game with four or five pitchers available to pitch, and we pitched almost all of them and they all did great.”

Carter Camp (0-1, 6.75 ERA) will toe the rubber Tuesday, earning his first start in over two months after dealing with a minor injury that limited his availability. Camp will square off against Penn State’s Schuyler Bates (2-3, 4.71), who will be making his sixth start.

Wednesday’s starting pitching matchup has not officially been announced.

West Virginia has a new leading hitter, in terms of average, in Kyle Davis at .320. Davis has seen his average climb as of late due in large part to him having reached base in each of the previous 16 games, as well as a 12-game hitting streak that was snapped over the weekend.

Saturday he clubbed his eighth home run of the season, tying him with Jackson Cramer for the team lead. Davis’ round tripper marked the fourth time over the last five weekends that he homered on Saturday.

Davis and Cramer are tied with Ivan Gonzalez for the team-lead this season on Tuesday games, each having two home runs apiece.

Freshman center fielder Brandon White had been the team’s leading hitter for much of the year, but his struggles at the plate in Big 12 play have lowered his season average to .307.

West Virginia now has four hitters who qualify with averages above .300.

As a team, Penn State is not as good of a hitting team as WVU is, nor are the Nittany Lions as aggressive on the base paths.

PSU’s leading hitter is Jordan Bowersox, however, he’s been out of the lineup since April 15 due to injury. The Nittany Lions have struggled mightily in his absence, winning just two of the twelve games he’s missed, and only producing 3.16 runs per game.

Braxton Giavedoni paces the team in hits with 42, while Willie Burger is the team leader in home runs (4) and RBI (24).

West Virginia has lost each of its last three games against the Nittany Lions dating back to 2014.

First pitch for the 110th meeting between the two programs is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Wednesday’s first pitch at PNC is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Radio coverage of both games can be heard on 91.7 FM in the Morgantown area, or on u92.wvu.edu, as well as on the TuneIn Radio app.

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