OKLAHOMA CITY (May 21, 2019) – West Virginia University baseball coach Randy Mazey has been named the Big 12 Coach of the Year and junior right-handed pitcher Alek Manoah has been recognized as the unanimous Big 12 Pitcher of the Year to highlight the conference’s postseason awards, announced on Tuesday.
Mazey is the first coach in program history selected as the Big 12 Coach of the Year, while Manoah joins left-hander Harrison Musgrave in 2013 as WVU’s Big 12 Pitcher of the Year award winners.
Manoah also was named to the All-Big 12 First Team for the first time in his career. On the All-Big 12 Second Team is senior catcher Ivan Gonzalez, senior right fielder Darius Hill, junior first baseman Marques Inman, junior right-handed reliever Sam Kessler and sophomore designated hitter Paul McIntosh. WVU’s honorable mention selections are junior left-handed starter Nick Snyder, junior center fielder Brandon White and sophomore second baseman Tyler Doanes.
WVU’s 11 total Big 12 accolades are its second-most since joining the league, and the five Second Team honors are West Virginia’s most.
Mazey and the Mountaineers enter the postseason with a 34-18 record and a 13-11 mark in Big 12 play and have been ranked in the top-25 for six consecutive weeks, coming in as high as No. 17 in this week’s polls. WVU’s 34 regular-season wins are its most since a 36-win regular season in 2009.
West Virginia’s 13 Big 12 wins and 13-11 record are tied for its best Big 12 mark, matching a 13-11 slate in 2013, and its fourth-place finish is tied for its second-highest finish in the standings. WVU was the only team to win six Big 12 series, which was its most conference series wins in a single season since it won six Big East series in 2003.
Mazey’s conference Coach of the Year honor is the third of his career. He was recognized by the Big South in 1996 and Conference USA in 2004, as the head coach at Charleston Southern and East Carolina, respectively.
Manoah is in the midst of one of the most dominating seasons in program history, and the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year accolade is the latest in a long list of awards for the Miami, Florida, native. He is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, the Golden Spikes Award and the College Baseball Foundation National Pitcher of the Year and is the first player in Big 12 history to be named Pitcher of the Week three consecutive weeks and the fourth to earn weekly honors four times in a season. Manoah also was the NCBWA Pitcher of the Month for April, a two-time NCBWA National Pitcher of the Week and the first player to ever earn the Golden Spikes Award/D1Baseball.com Performance of the Week award three consecutive weeks.
Statistically, Manoah ranks No. 8 in the country in strikeouts (125), No. 11 in WHIP (0.90), No. 17 in ERA (1.91), No. 24 in hits allowed per nine innings (6.01), No. 28 in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.68), No. 31 in strikeouts per nine innings (11.93), No. 33 in wins (8) and No. 35 in complete games (2).
Manoah’s 125 strikeouts are a WVU record, while he is second with a 5.68 strikeout-to-walk ratio, tied for No. 6 with two shutouts and No. 9 with 11.93 strikeouts per nine innings.
The Big 12 honor is the second of Manoah’s career, after he was named to the All-Freshman Team in 2017.
Gonzalez is tied for second in the Big 12 with 16 runners caught stealing. He leads the team with 32 walks, is second with a .397 on-base percentage, third with a .286 batting average, 53 hits, 11 doubles and 17 stolen bases and fourth with 26 RBIs. He has started all 52 games, 41 behind the plate.
From Round Rock, Texas, Gonzalez is honored for the fourth time in his career, after he was named to the All-Freshman Team in 2016 and earned Honorable Mention accolades in 2016 and 2018.
Hill leads the Big 12 with 22 doubles and a 1.000 fielding percentage and is fifth with 109 total bases and seventh with 65 hits. While starting every game in right field, he also paces the Mountaineers with a .308 batting average, 38 RBIs, 42 runs scored and a .517 slugging percentage.
A 2019 Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree, this is Hill’s fifth All-Big 12 accolade and the third time he is named to the Second Team, along with in 2016 and 2018. The Dallas, Texas, native also was named to the All-Freshman Team in 2016 and collected Honorable Mention accolades in 2017.
In Big 12 games, Inman is second in the league with 25 RBIs and ninth with a .557 slugging percentage and 49 total bases. In 48 games on the season, the Elyria, Ohio, native leads the team with nine home runs, is second with 37 RBIs and fourth with 48 hits and a .480 slugging percentage and is hitting .274.
Inman’s recognition is the second of his career, as he was named to the Honorable Mention list in 2018.
Kessler has eight saves, which ranks No. 2 in program history and is third in the conference. In Big 12 games, he is tied for second in the league with four saves and is tied for sixth with 12 appearances. In 21 relief appearances in 2019, Kessler has a 2.64 ERA with 39 strikeouts and eight walks in 30.2 innings pitched. He is 4-2 and has allowed nine runs on 25 hits.
A native of Mount Sinai, New York, Kessler’s 2019 honors go along with his Honorable Mention distinction in 2017.
In his first season as a Mountaineer, McIntosh has a team-high-tying nine home runs and is third with a .503 slugging percentage and fourth with a .282 batting average and 28 RBIs. The Miami Gardens, Florida, native has 46 hits, nine doubles, 17 walks and 82 total bases and has started 43 games.
Snyder is recognized for the first time in his career, while White is rewarded with Honorable Mention status for the third consecutive season. This is Doanes’ third accolade in two years, as he was named to the All-Freshman Team and earned Honorable Mention accolades in 2018.
The Mountaineers begin postseason play this week at the Big 12 Championship at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. Seeded No. 4 in the eight-team tournament, West Virginia plays No. 5-seeded Kansas on Wednesday, May 22, at 10 a.m. ET. The winner of Wednesday’s WVU-KU game will play the winner between No. 1 Texas Tech, the regular-season champions, and No. 8 Kansas State on Thursday, May 23, at 5 p.m. ET. In the double-elimination tournament, the losers of the two games on Wednesday will face off on Thursday at 10 a.m. ET.
Press Release Credit: WVU Athletics Communications
Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS