MORGANTOWN, W.Va–The Texas Tech Red Raiders travel to Morgantown to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers in a pivotal Big 12 series May 14-16 at Monongalia County Ballpark.
West Virginia (25-24, 7-12 Big 12) needs to find a way to win two games from the fourth place Red Raiders (29-20, 12-9 Big 12) in order to qualify for the Big 12 tournament.
“They’re pretty smart kids,” coach Randy Mazey said. “I saw them in the airport on the way home after this past weekend figuring out the standings and the tiebreakers and all of that. They know what is going on. We try not to focus on it too much; we just try to focus on winning one inning at a time and one pitch at a time. I think they understand how big of a series it is.”
The Mountaineers lost to rival Pitt 4-1 on Tuesday. West Virginia committed four errors and stranded 10 runners on bases in the loss.
Texas Tech is coming off a 5-1 victory over Texas last weekend, where the Red Raiders took the final two games of the series.
West Virginia will send sophomore Chad Donato (6-5, 2.83 ERA) to the mound for the series opener. The right-hander came on and earned a save in last weekend’s win over Oklahoma State.
“I like our chances every time Chad goes out there,” Mazey said. “The one thing you know about Chad Donato is that he is going to be locked in and he is going to give you 100 percent every time he toes the mound.”
Starters for Friday and Saturday have yet to be announced.
The Red Raiders will counter with sophomore right-hander Ryan Moseley (4-5, 3.18 ERA) on Thursday. Senior southpaw Cameron Smith (6-3, 2.64 ERA) will start on Friday. Saturday’s starter is to be determined.
Freshman second baseman Kyle Davis continues to lead the Mountaineers’ offense with his .355 batting average. He had his 23rd multi-hit game of the season on Tuesday.
Senior shortstop Taylor Munden has a team-leading 11 home runs to go along with 11 doubles and 29 RBIs. Sophomore right fielder Shaun Wood and sophomore first baseman Jackson Cramer each have eight home runs, while Wood leads the team with 32 RBIs.
Texas Tech is led at the plate by junior infielder Cory Raley, who is hitting .344 with nine doubles, two triples, two home runs and 18 RBIs. Junior infielder Eric Gutierrez has a .322 clip with 13 doubles, two homers and a team-leading 39 RBIs, while sophomore outfielder Stephen Smith leads the team with nine home runs.
This is the seventh meeting between the two teams. West Virginia trails the all-time series, 2-4, and was swept last season in Lubbock.
Texas Tech is 6-2 during its last 8 road/neutral site games.