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Big 12 Slate Opens at Home vs. Kansas

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 25, 2021) – The West Virginia University baseball team opens Big 12 Conference play with a three-game series against Kansas, presented by Civil & Environmental Consultants, from March 26-28, at Monongalia County Ballpark.

Tickets to all three games of the series are sold out. A limited number of WVU student tickets will be available on game days in pairs of two. Student tickets can be picked up at Gate A or C of Monongalia County Ballpark. Students are admitted free with a valid student I.D.

Fans are reminded to check the WVU baseball social media pages for updates on limited player/guest-returned tickets prior to every home game. If those are made available to the general public, they will be released for purchase starting three hours before first pitch and can be found on WVUGAME.com. Any available tickets can be purchased on a first-come, first-serve basis and are priced at $7.

Friday’s series opener is slated for a 6:30 p.m. ET, start time, while Saturday’s game will begin at 4 p.m. Sunday’s series finale is scheduled for a 12 p.m., first pitch. Fans can listen to the games on the Mountaineer Sports Network from Learfield IMG College on 100.9 WZST-FM, as well as various affiliates throughout the state, the TuneIn Radio App and WVUsports.com. Additionally, all three games will broadcast live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. For links to live stats, audio and streams, visit WVUsports.com.

Senior left-handed pitcher Jackson Wolf (1-2, 2.61 ERA) gets the call for the Mountaineers for Friday’s series opener, while Kansas counters with redshirt senior right-hander Ryan Cyr (3-1, 3.94 ERA). On Saturday, left-handed pitcher Adam Tulloch (0-0, 6.00 ERA) goes for WVU against Kansas redshirt junior righty Cole Larsen (3-1, 0.79 ERA), while freshman left-hander Ben Hampton (2-0, 1.04 ERA) battles redshirt sophomore lefty Eli Davis (3-1, 2.90 ERA) of Kansas on Sunday.

WVU (8-8) owns a 13-10 record against Kansas (13-6) all time, including 8-4 in Morgantown. In all, the Mountaineers are 77-87 in Big 12 play since joining the conference in 2013.

This weekend marks just the second time West Virginia begins Big 12 play at home, including the first since 2014. WVU is 12-8 in Big 12-opening series at home.

Last time out, the Mountaineers fell to Marshall, 7-1, on March 23, at the Kennedy Center YMCA in Huntington, West Virginia. The loss snapped WVU’s seven-game win streak in the in-state matchup. Senior infielder Tyler Doanes tallied West Virginia’s lone RBI with an infield single in the eighth inning.

This week, the Mountaineers check in at No. 30 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Top 30 Poll, which was released on Monday. The squad enters the weekend ranked No. 27 nationally in triples (6) and No. 28 in strikeouts per nine innings (10.8).

Freshman infielder Mikey Kluska continues to lead the WVU offense with a .339 average, 21 hits and 12 RBI. Fifth-year senior infielder Kevin Brophy and sophomore catcher/infielder Matt McCormick are tied for the team lead with four home runs, while junior outfielder Austin Davis and sophomore outfielder Victor Scott co-lead the club with six stolen bases.

On the mound, Hampton and junior right-hander Madison Jeffrey each have two victories on the year, while Wolf has tallied a team-best 20.2 innings pitched. 

Kansas is led by 19th-year coach Ritch Price, who holds a record of 551-498-3 during his time in Lawrence. The Jayhawks enter this weekend’s series on a seven-game win streak, dating back to March 13.

KU is 7-5 on the road this season, including 6-1 in its last seven games away from home. Last time out, Kansas took down Lafayette, 20-5, on March 23, in Easton, Pennsylvania.

The Jayhawks are led offensively by redshirt junior infielder Skyler Messinger, who is hitting .403 in 67 at-bats this season. He co-leads the club with 18 RBI. Additionally, redshirt junior catcher/infielder Nolan Metcalf has hit a team-leading three homers and 18 RBI for KU so far this spring. In all, Kansas features five players with 10 or more RBI.

On the mound, all three of this weekend’s starting pitchers – Cyr, Larsen and Davis – have tallied at least 31.0 innings of work so far this season. The trio is a combined 9-3 on the year.

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