MORGANTOWN, W.Va – Although the West Virginia baseball season ended with a dissatisfying finish in the Big 12 Tournament and an overall (27-27) record, a handful of Mountaineers finished up with some high conference honors.
Jackson Cramer (1B), Taylor Munden (SS), and Kyle Davis (UTL) were named to the All-Big 12 Second Team. Chad Donato (RHP), Blake Smith (RHP), Ross Vance (LHP) and standout senior Justin Fox (3B) were Honorable Mentions.
Pitcher BJ Myers, along with Kyle Davis (UTL), were named to the All-Freshman Team. Myers, from Flower Mound, Texas, a mere 20 hours west of Morgantown, had a tough transition to make beginning his collegiate career far from home. After earning the start in the season opener against Clemson, Myers began progressing as West Virginia’s go-to pitcher.
“Getting to start on Friday nights was just a dream come true, really. It’s always been a goal of mine since I was really little to be a Friday night starter in a college program,” said Myers. “I didn’t expect to have the kind of season that I did. I was just expecting to go in there and do the best that I could and then I realized that maybe I can compete at this level a little bit,” he said.
Myers says the most memorable game from his freshman season was certainly that start against Clemson where he pitched five innings allowing only four hits and zero runs, while striking out five batters. That game set the tone for Myers and served as a preparation pedestal for what was to be expected later on in the season.
“It was the start that I learned the most on; how to handle myself on the mound and how to control my nerves and understand just how fast the college game is. After that game, I really just settled down and understood what I needed to do,” said Myers.
Although coach Randy Mazey put a lot of effort into the new stadium, Monongalia County Ballpark, his players remained his priority. Mazey plays an important role for players like Myers, who are just beginning their time in the old gold and blue.
“Coach Mazey, I see him as a second father really,” said Myers. “I think it was one of the weeks he got suspended, the Virginia Tech and Radford week, he didn’t travel and I didn’t travel because I wasn’t going to pitch so I had a bullpen day. He literally came to the field and played catch with me. He caught my bullpen without any gear and he was using a glove for the opposite hand. Just the fact that he was there as a head coach, he didn’t have to be, and it was a huge motivation factor that he’s gonna be there no matter what,” Myers said.
“I had a great time with all my teammates, just making that teammate bond with all the guys and becoming really close with them,” he also said, noting that playing with seniors Justin Fox and Taylor Munden really motivated him to be successful.
Myers finished the season with a (2-5) win-loss record, a 3.82 ERA and 60 total strikeouts. He looks to use his postseason Big 12 freshman honor as motivation to achieve more throughout the remainder of his career at West Virginia.
“I hope that I can help the team like I did this year but I hope I can do even more,” said Myers. “Next year, I hope to have a winning record and help the team to win more games. I hope that in the future I can be an intricate part to help the team reach our goal and reach Regionals and then make it to the College World Series one day,” Myers concluded.