Senior Day Win Sets WVU Up For Big 12 Championship Play
West Virginia head coach Randy Mazey is nothing if not a meticulous planner, and he couldn’t have envisioned his hopes for the Mountaineers’ final regular season game playing out any better. The seniors had a big day against George Washington, but perhaps more importantly his pitching design fell right into place.
Starter Kade Strowd went four innings, throwing 58 pitches (40 for strikes), and Jackson Wolf, West Virginia’s usual Saturday starter, contributed two innings and 20 pitches. That, combined with Alek Manoah’s shorter-than-usual stint on Thursday, set up a slightly different roation for the Big 12 Championship, which begins Wednesday in Oklahoma City.
“It worked out perfect,” Mazey recapped. “Strowd is going to start our game Friday in Oklahoma City, so he needed to throw about what he did today. I thought he pitched pretty well. He got one pitch up and they hit a homer, but he was back to his old self today for sure.”
Strowd struck out four and walked none of the 16 batters he faced. Wolf also had a strikeout against no walks.
WVU (34-18, 13-11 Big 12) finished fourth in the regular season standings, and will face the number five seed Kansas in the first game of the Championship.
WVU now plans to start Nick Snyder, its typical mid-week pitcher, on Wednesday. That keeps him on his normal day of work, and with the way he has pitched this season, it’s not a surprising move. Snyder is 8-1 on the season with a 1.95 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP, and has struck out 86 batters while walking only 25.
Alek Manoah is slated to get the Thursday start, with Kade Strowd going on Friday. Wolf would then be available for an early relief stint or a Saturday start.
“We’ll be facing a first-rounder (Lodolo) and I think we have the 9 a.m. game again,” said Mazey, noting that entails a 5:30 a.m. wakeup call for his team. “But every time these guys have been challenged, they have responded. I knew going in to this season this was the type of team we had. We’re playing our best baseball. I couldn’t be more confident in our group right now, but it’s never easy.”