The West Virginia University baseball team has been slotted at No. 14 in D1Baseball.com’s Preseason Top-25 Rankings.
It is believed to be West Virginia’s highest preseason ranking in any major poll in program history. The Mountaineers are one of five Big 12 schools to appear in the preseason rankings, joining No. 3 Texas Tech, No. 9 Texas, No. 10 TCU and No. 20 Oklahoma State.
As with many other college sports, spring schedules for WVU and its Big 12 baseball bretheren are still being worked on. The league has looked at a number of alternatives for conference schedules, including the possibility of four-game series instead of the normal three, which would result in 32, instead of the standard 24, league contests. The number of non-conference games to be played or allowed have also been a major point of discussions, with a lean toward allowing schools to play some in the mid-week, along with the one open weekend that the nine-team conference schedule produces.
West Virginia began practice last week in preparation for the 2021 season.
— WVU Baseball (@WVUBaseball) January 15, 2021
WVU is coming off a COVID-19-shortened, 11-5 season in 2020, marking the club’s best 16-game start since 2009. The Mountaineers are set to welcome 25 returners back to the squad this spring, including eight of nine starters. Also returning are freshman left-handed pitcher Jake Carr and catcher/infielder Matt McCormick, who earned Freshman All-America honors by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper last season.
West Virginia last appeared in D1Baseball’s preseason poll in 2018, when it was placed at No. 22. The rankings are determined by D1Baseball national writers Aaron Fitt, Kendall Rogers and Mike Rooney.
West Virginia received votes, but was not ranked, in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s preseason Top 50.