MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Heading into last baseball season, the West Virginia University baseball team was riding the ultimate high.
The team was coming off one of its best seasons ever. They had hosted a Regional and Alek Manoah was a first-round draft pick in the MLB Draft.
When the baseball season got underway in 2020, it seemed like the Mountaineers were picking up right where they left off. When COVID-19 struck, the team was off to one of its best starts in history.
Then the season came to an abrupt halt.
The season was over just as it was getting underway. Student-athletes were granted an extra year of eligibility, which allowed players like Kevin Brophy to return.
On Tuesday, the Big 12 gave teams the go-ahead to proceed with a normal conference schedule. With that news Randy Mazey’s squad can now focus on building on the magical season that was so long ago.
When Monday’s D1 Baseball’s preseason poll came out the Mountaineers were ranked No. 14.
“It’s nice to see it but you hope the players don’t read it,” Mazey told Metronews Radio on Monday. “Those rankings can be good or bad but it is nice to finally get some acknowledgment about what we’ve done here, the type of players we have here, the success we have here. It really does feel good to see your name in there.”
Since Mazey took over the reins, WVU baseball has skyrocketed to new heights and looks to continue to this season.
However, the downside to being a premiere program is the Mountaineers will no longer be the underdog. WVU has always taken pride in proving everyone wrong.
“Being picked 14th in the nation does have some positives but it leaves you less to prove to people than if you weren’t in there at all.”
Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS