West Virginia saw five players named to the 2021 All-Big 12 Baseball team, although none made the first team.
Senior left-handed pitcher Jackson Wolf was a second team selection, while catcher\outfielder Paul McIntosh and junior outfielder Austin Davis earned Honorable Mention honors. WVU also placed a pair of freshmen on the all-first year squad, as left-handed pitcher Ben Hampton and freshman infielder Mikey Kluska earned spots on the All-Freshman Team.
“Congratulations to all of our players who were recognized by the conference this year,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “The Big 12 is one of the best conferences in the country and it is a great honor to receive an award as one of the best players in this league.”
With the honors, WVU has placed at least one player on the All-Big 12 Second Team each year since joining the conference in 2013, while the two All-Freshman Team selections are West Virginia’s firsts since 2018.
Wolf, a native of Gahanna, Ohio, led the Mountaineers with a 5-5 mark and 3.26 ERA in a team-best 80.0 innings during the regular season. He struck out 97 batters, good for No. 3 in the Big 12, and allowed three earned runs or fewer in nine of his 13 starts. Additionally, he registered 10 or more strikeouts in three straight outings from April 23-May 7, becoming the first WVU pitcher to accomplish the feat since Alek Manoah (April 5-20, 2019).
McIntosh tied for the team lead with eight home runs and 26 RBI during the regular season. The Miami Gardens, Florida, native has started in 41 games and is hitting .270 with eight doubles, a triple and 25 runs scored. McIntosh launched three homers in a five-game span from May 5-11.
The conference honor is the second of McIntosh’s career. Previously, he was named a second-team selection in 2019.
Davis is pacing West Virginia with a .317 average at the plate this season. In all, he has tallied 51 hits, including eight doubles, a triple and a home run, with 17 RBI. He also has scored 26 runs and stolen 16 bases, good for No. 4 in the Big 12. The Orlando, Florida, native, who has started in 45 games this spring, also leads the club with 17 multi-hit games in 2021.
Davis is hitting .400 in May, with 25 total hits in his last 15 games. The honor is the first of his career.
Hampton, who hails from De Pere, Wisconsin, is 4-3 with a 4.96 ERA in 10 starts. In all, he has made 13 total appearances, logging 43 strikeouts in 49.0 innings of action. What’s more, Hampton has only yielded 13 walks this season.
He is the third Mountaineer pitcher to earn a spot on the All-Freshman Team, and is the first since Manoah was honored in 2017.
Kluska started the first 41 games for West Virginia this season and became the first true freshman, West Virginia native to start in the field on Opening Day since former All-American Jedd Gyorko did so in 2008. The White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, native hit .242 with four homers and 24 RBI in the regular season, and he added a double, a triple and 17 runs scored. On March 13, Kluska hit a walk-off, two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to help the Mountaineers take down Central Michigan.
He is the first WVU shortstop to be honored by the league since Jimmy Galusky was an honorable-mention selection in 2017.
The Mountaineers, seeded eighth, open postseason play at the 2021 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship on Tuesday, May 25, against No. 9-seed Kansas at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. First pitch of the single-elimination contest is set for 7 p.m. ET, with the winner advancing to take on No. 1-seed Texas to begin the double-elimination tournament on Wednesday.