MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (June 27, 2019) – For the first time since 1982, the West Virginia University baseball team is ranked in the final top-25, as WVU appears in each major national poll released on Thursday.
The Mountaineers finish the season as high as No. 19 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) poll. WVU is No. 20 in the Baseball America top-25, No. 21 in the final D1Baseball rankings, No. 25 by Perfect Game and No. 27 in the Collegiate Baseball poll.
The final rankings mark the eighth consecutive week WVU has appeared in the national polls, a program record. West Virginia has been ranked in at least one top-25 poll every week since April 15, and came in as high as No. 13 in the final regular-season rankings.
West Virginia’s No. 13 ranking was its highest since at least 1982, when the Mountaineers finished the season No. 16 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll. The 1982 season also was the last time WVU appeared in the final season rankings.
WVU was ranked for more than two weeks in a season for the first time in seventh-year coach Randy Mazey’s tenure.
The Mountaineers’ appearance in this week’s polls is the 11th time they have been ranked since 1982, with all 11 appearances, eight times in 2019, twice in 2017 and once in 2018, coming under Mazey.
WVU is one of four Big 12 Conference teams ranked in at least one final national poll.
In the final national statistical rankings, the Mountaineer pitching staff ranked among the best in the country. WVU was No. 4 in the NCAA in hits allowed per nine innings (7.19), No. 8 in strikeouts per nine innings (10.1), No. 11 in shutouts (6), No. 18 in WHIP (1.27) and No. 24 in ERA (3.70), while West Virginia was second in the Big 12 in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.40). Offensively, the Mountaineers were No. 25 nationally in stolen bases (98) and No. 27 in doubles (119) and third in the Big 12 in sacrifice flies (30).
Individually, junior right-hander Alek Manoah’s 144 strikeouts, a school record, ranked No. 6 in the country. He was No. 12 in WHIP (0.90), No. 22 in hits allowed per nine innings (5.90), No. 27 in starts (16), No. 28 in ERA (2.08), No. 29 in strikeouts per nine innings (11.96), No. 33 in wins (9), No. 34 in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.33) and No. 37 in complete games (2).
Junior left-hander Nick Snyder was No. 6 in the NCAA in strikeouts per nine innings (13.63), No. 12 in hits allowed per nine innings (5.56) and No. 33 in wins (9), while he was third in the Big 12 in ERA (2.65).
Senior right fielder Darius Hill ranked No. 4 in the country with 25 doubles, and sophomore second baseman Tyler Doanes was No. 31 with 21. Junior center fielder Brandon White finished No. 37 nationally in stolen bases (26) and third in the conference in sacrifice bunts per game (0.16). Doanes also finished third in the Big 12 in stolen bases (20) and sacrifice flies (6), while junior righty Sam Kessler was No. 3 in saves (8).
The Mountaineers went 38-22 in 2019 and made the NCAA Championship for the 13th time in program history and the second time in three seasons. WVU hosted an NCAA Regional for the second time in team history and first since 1955.
West Virginia’s 38 wins were its second-most in program history and two shy of the record, while its 60 games played are third-most. The Mountaineer pitching staff broke the school record for saves (15) and strikeouts (595) and was second in innings pitched (528.1) and fourth in strikeouts per nine innings (10.10). Offensively, WVU tied the program record for walks (257) and was third in stolen bases (98) and sacrifice flies (30). The defense had 1,585 putouts, second-most all-time.
Individually, Manoah broke the single-season record for strikeouts, with 144, tied the record for starts (16), was No. 3 in innings pitched (108.1) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.33), No. 6 in shutouts (2) and wins (9) and No. 9 in strikeouts per nine innings (11.96). Snyder was No. 5 in strikeouts per nine innings (13.63), No. 6 in wins (9), No. 7 in winning percentage (.900) and No. 10 in strikeouts (103). Kessler was tied for No. 2 in saves (8) and tied for No. 6 in both appearances and relief appearances (24).
Offensively, Hill finished tied for No. 4 in doubles (25) and was No. 8 in extra-base hits (34) and at-bats (238). Doanes tied for No. 4 in sacrifice flies (6), freshman shortstop Tevin Tucker was No. 5 in walks (39) and White was No. 6 in stolen bases (26). Additionally, Hill, Tucker and senior catcher Ivan Gonzalez tied for No. 6 in both games played and starts, with 60, while Doanes was No. 9 in starts and No. 10 in games played, with 59.
Hill’s 1.000 fielding percentage tied a program record, and Gonzalez broke the school record for chances (566) and putouts (511) in a season.
Press Release: WVU Athletics Communications
Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS