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WVU Readies for Midweek Series with Morehead State

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 15, 2021) – The West Virginia University baseball team continues its homestand by playing host to Morehead State for a two-game, midweek series, presented by Bowling Insurance, from March 16-17, at Monongalia County Ballpark. 

A limited amount of tickets remain for both games of the series. All tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and are priced at $7, as reflected on the seat map at WVUGAME.com. A limit of six (6) tickets can be purchased per account. Tickets are available through WVUGAME.com or by calling the Mountaineer Ticket Office at 1-800-WVU-GAME.A limited number of WVU student tickets also will be available on game days in pairs of two. Student tickets can be picked up at Gate A or C of Monongalia County Ballpark. Students are admitted free with a valid student I.D. 

Tuesday’s series opener is slated for a 3 p.m. ET, first pitch, while Wednesday’s contest also is set for 3 p.m. Fans can listen to the 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, Tuesday and Wednesday’s games will broadcast live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. For links to live stats, audio and streams, visit WVUsports.com

Freshman left-handed pitcher Ben Hampton (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will get the start for the Mountaineers (5-5, 0-0 Big 12) on Tuesday, while MSU (7-7, 2-1 Ohio Valley) counters with senior right-hander Will Lozinak (0-1, 15.43 ERA). On Wednesday, freshman right-hander Carlson Reed goes for WVU, while Morehead State’s starter is to be determined. 

West Virginia owns an 11-6 mark against the Eagles, including 5-0 in Morgantown. The two teams last met in 2019, a two-game series split in Morehead, Kentucky. Overall, WVU is 21-11 all-time against Ohio Valley Conference foes. 

Last time out, WVU opened a new home slate at Monongalia County Ballpark by going 1-2 against Central Michigan from March 12-13. The Mountaineers fell in Friday’s home opener, 5-3, before they split Saturday’s doubleheader. WVU lost, 12-4, in Game 1, before earning an 8-7 triumph in Game 2. 

Freshman infielder Mikey Kluska hit a walk-off, two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to help WVU take down CMU in the finale of Saturday’s twin bill. West Virginia trailed, 7-6, leading up to Kluska’s heroics. The White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, native finished 7-for-14 with a homer and five RBIs in the three-game series. 

Junior right-handed pitcher Madison Jeffrey earned the win, his second of the year, despite throwing just one pitch on Saturday. Meanwhile, senior left-hander Jackson Wolf and sophomore lefty Jake Carr took losses in the series’ first two contests. 

This week, the Mountaineers received votes in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll, which was released on Monday. The squad enters the week ranked No. 20 nationally in home runs per game (1.5), as well as No. 33 in triples per game (0.4). Of note, WVU has won 14 consecutive nonconference, midweek, home games, dating back to April 3, 2017, against Niagara. 

Kluska leads WVU with a .351 average (minimum 20 at-bats), 13 hits and nine RBIs this season. Sophomore catcher/infielder Matt McCormick has belted a team-high four homers, while junior outfielder Austin Davis paces the Mountaineers with six stolen bases. 

Morehead State is led by second-year coach Mik Aoki, who is 12-17 with the Eagles. Aoki, who has won 461 career games, also has spent time as the head coach at Columbia, Boston College and Notre Dame. 

The Eagles, who finished 5-10 last season and were picked to finish ninth in the 2021 OVC Preseason Poll, are off to a 7-7 start to the season. The squad is coming off a series win over Eastern Kentucky from March 12-13, in Morehead, Kentucky. Last time out, MSU endured an 11-0 loss to EKU on March 13, which snapped a five-game win streak. Earlier this season, MSU topped then-No. 1 Louisville, 5-2, on March 2, on the road. 

Senior catcher Jack Gardner leads the way offensively with a .318 average, four homers and 15 RBIs for the Eagles.

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