Coming off a three-game sweep that included wins over Duke, Coastal Carolina and James Madison in Myrtle Beach, S.C., the West Virginia baseball team will travel to the West Coast to take on Sacramento and UC Riverside this weekend.
The top three pitchers in West Virginia’s starting rotation, Harrison Musgrave, Sean Carley and John Means were dominant in the Mountaineers’ three wins last weekend.
Musgrave carried a perfect game into the seventh inning before a bunt single ruined his chance to make history. The left-hander pitched eight innings and struck out 12 batters while giving up two hits and no runs in the Mountaineers’ 3-1 win over Duke.
Musgrave said one of his best efforts in recent memory was a result of being able to command three different pitches.
“It was probably my best outing in a while,” Musgrave said in an interview with WVUsports.com. “It’s very rare for me to have three pitches that work, so today was an unusual circumstance, but it made pitching a little bit easier.”
Musgrave will likely take the mound Friday against WVU’s first opponent of the weekend, the Sacramento State Hornets.
The Hornets come into the weekend with a record of 7-6 after they beat No. 24 Fresno State 2-1 in 10 innings Wednesday.
Being the ace of West Virginia’s staff, Musgrave faces the opposition’s best effort each time he toes the rubber. West Virginia head coach Randy Mazey said The Big 12 Pitcher of the Year from 2013 hasn’t let his team down.
“All of the good stuff he did last year, that might be the best I’ve ever seen him,” Mazey said in an interview with WVUsports.com. “His pitches are getting better, he’s really competing and he’s making great pitches when he needs to. There is nothing you can say above and beyond what he did (against Duke) was outstanding.”
Not to be outdone, Sean Carley scattered six Coastal Carolina hits and gave up two earned runs over seven innings in West Virginia’s win Saturday.
Mazey said that although Carley hit some rough patches in his outing, he displayed the kind of resolve that is the mark of a good pitcher.
“He didn’t have his best stuff (Saturday) by any means,” Mazey said in an interview with WVUsports.com. “The real Sean (Carley) showed up (Saturday), the guy that competes all of the time and is high energy because he really had to grind this one out and he did that.”
West Virginia will probably need a source of energy Saturday, as they will be playing a doubleheader. The first game against Sacramento State is scheduled for 4 p.m. and the second game against UC Riverside starts at 8 p.m.
The Mountaineers wrap up the weekend with another game against UC Riverside Sunday at 8 p.m. The Highlanders come in to the weekend having won three of their last four games.
Mazey and the Mountaineers will remain on the West Coast to play UNLV March 11 and Cal State Northridge March 13-15.