MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–On Monday afternoon, the NCAA announced the 64 teams that made the NCAA Baseball Tournament but the West Virginia University baseball team was not one of them.
The Mountaineers (36-22) had an RPI of 61 and were one of the “First 3 Out”.
WVU won 17 of their final 21 games and was one of the hottest teams in the country. The Mountaineers magical Big 12 Championship run came to an end on Sunday with an 11-10 loss to the TCU Horned Frogs, who were a No.1 seed in the Fort Worth Regional.
“If we’re not one of the top 50 teams in the nation, someone hasn’t been paying attention, WVU head coach Randy Mazey said after Sunday’s loss. “What we’ve done since April 24th, in the last month and four to five days, has been incredible. We have one of the best winning percentages in the nation. We literally have the youngest team in the nation.
“If we continue to play next week we will have had more than 300 games started by freshmen. The next closest team to us has 198. To do what we’ve done with these young kids is incredible. People are excited about our program right now because of these players. That’ll feed off of itself. They’re all back next year. We should have a really good team next year and hopefully we’ll get more fans and better recruiting classes. The future of this program is extremely bright. I am super proud of the guys in this group, every single one of them. They’ve given me new energy in coaching. This is the most fun in coaching I’ve had in the last 25 years. It’s been a great ride with these guys, but I’m not ready to give up yet. We deserve to get in and if someone doesn’t vote us in, that is their fault not ours.”
According to NCAA Committee Chair Joel Erdmann, the Mountaineers’ out of conference schedule and bad losses to Furman and Canisius ultimately hurt the team’s chance of making the tournament.
“All six teams were put on the board and their team sheets were examined and compared and the decision points lie in a mixture of conference finish, strength of conference, non-conference strength of schedule and how teams did in that non-conference strength of schedule,” Erdmann said. “As is often the case, all of those teams in consideration have great resumes and have seasons to be proud of but eventually we run out of room.
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) May 30, 2016
North Carolina and Oregon State were the other two teams on the outside looking in.
WVU has not made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1996.
Despite missing the tournament, the baseball program is heading in the right direction and the Mountaineers’ stellar play has caught the attention of many new fans.