MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (April 8, 2021) – The West Virginia University baseball team caps its seven-game road trip with a weekend series at Baylor, from April 9-11, in Waco, Texas.
Friday’s series opener from Baylor Ballpark is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET, while Saturday’s game will begin at 4 p.m. Sunday’s series finale, which was originally scheduled for 1 p.m., has been moved to a 12:30 p.m., start time.
Fans can listen to all three games on the Mountaineer Sports Network from Learfield IMG College on 100.9 WZST-FM, as well as various affiliates throughout the state, the TuneIn Radio App and WVUsports.com. Additionally, Friday’s game will broadcast live on ESPNU, while Saturday and Sunday’s contests can be seen on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. For links to live stats, audio and streams, visit WVUsports.com.
Senior left-handed pitcher Jackson Wolf (3-2, 2.36 ERA) gets the start for WVU on Friday night, while the Bears counter with junior left-hander Tyler Thomas (3-2, 1.65 ERA). On Saturday, junior lefty Adam Tulloch (0-2, 6.86 ERA) battles Baylor’s sophomore right-hander Blake Helton (2-2, 3.49 ERA). Freshman left-hander Ben Hampton (2-0, 2.63 ERA) goes for the Mountaineers on Sunday against senior right-hander Hayden Kettler (3-1, 3.90 ERA) of Baylor.
Entering the weekend, Baylor (19-10, 1-5 Big 12) holds a 12-10 advantage over the Mountaineers (11-12, 3-3 Big 12) in the all-time series. Of note, the two schools haven’t played in more than two calendar years, WVU’s longest drought playing any of its Big 12 opponents.
In the last encounter, BU swept WVU in a three-game series from March 22-24, 2019, in Waco.
West Virginia is coming off a 5-1 setback at No. 17 Pitt on April 6, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Mountaineers opened the scoring in the top of the first inning, before the Panthers registered the final five runs in the first of two Backyard Brawl meetings this season.
Seven players recorded a hit for West Virginia in the loss, including senior catcher/outfielder Paul McIntosh, who finished 2-for-4 with an RBI.
WVU and Pitt are set to meet again on Wednesday, May 5, at Monongalia County Ballpark in Morgantown.
Fifth-year senior first baseman/outfielder Hudson Byorick leads West Virginia with a .339 average at the plate, while freshman infielder Mikey Kluska paces the club with 30 hits and 17 RBI on the year. Additionally, four different Mountaineers have belted at least four home runs so far in 2021, led by fifth-year senior infielder Kevin Brophy (5), while junior outfielder Austin Davis and sophomore outfielder Victor Scott co-lead WVU with nine stolen bases.
On the mound, Wolf has thrown a team-high 34.1 innings, tallying 38 strikeouts and conceding just nine earned runs. The Gahanna, Ohio, native’s three wins and 2.36 ERA are both team bests.
Baylor is led by sixth-year coach Steve Rodriguez, who is 159-108 during his time in Waco. The Bears enter the weekend on a six-game win streak and most recently topped UT Arlington, 7-6, at home on April 6, helping the club improve to 17-2 in Waco this spring. In Big 12 play, the Bears dropped two-of-three games to then-No. 10 Texas from March 19-21, and were swept by then-No. 12 TCU from March 26-28.
Freshman outfielder Jared McKenzie leads Baylor with a .354 average, 45 hits and seven home runs. His 22 RBI are good for No. 2 on the squad, behind senior catcher Andy Thomas’ 31. Overall, Baylor ranks No. 2 nationally in hits (301) and No. 8 in batting average (.307).
Tyler Thomas leads the Bears’ pitching staff with a 1.65 ERA in 43.2 innings of work. He has fanned 45 and holds a 3-2 record.