WVU showing improvement under Mazey
Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 06:03
With 20 games under its belt, the WVU baseball team has shown signs of major improvement under the direction of coach Randy Mazey.
Looking strictly at records, it may seem that the Mountaineers have taken a bit of a step back from the 2012 season as they were 10-10 at this point last year compared to 8-12 this season.
When evaluating a team in its first year in a new conference like the Mountaineers, it is important to look beyond the overall records to find signs of success or failure.
At this point in 2012, the Mountaineers were averaging 3.4 runs per game, whereas this year that has gone up to 4.3 – nearly a full-run improvement.
Granted, one run may not seem like a lot to many, but it’s the way the Mountaineers are scoring these runs that makes the stat significant.
Table-setting hitters such as sophomore lead-off man Bobby Body and junior transfer Jacob Rice are hitting for average and getting on base, allowing power hitters like Matt Frazer to feast with runners on base.
While the season is only slightly more than a third over, Boyd has seen his average grow to an impressive .407, compared to .321 at the conclusion of last season.
Boyd has done an excellent job of playing within himself, taking what pitchers give him and getting on-base by any means necessary. Compiling 33 hits and 10 stolen bases, the sophomore has provided the 2-6 hitters a chance to compile gaudy RBI numbers.
To this point, junior Matt Frazer has put up 19 RBI in 70 at bats this season, compared to 31 in 197 at bats last season. If he continues at his current rate, Frazer is on pace for a 53 RBI season.
With outfielder Brady Wilson and catcher Alan Filauro the only seniors in the starting lineup, the offensive production only figures to go up as the team gels.
Not only have the Mountaineers improved in run production from last year, the pitching staff has taken steps forward, as well.
Last season, the Mountaineers were outscored 353-242 during the course of the season, largely due in part to the pitching staff sporting a collective 6.04 earned run average. In the 2013 season, the pitching staff has a collective ERA of 4.22, nearly a two-run difference.
As they will face college baseball powerhouses Texas, Oklahoma and TCU this season, the Mountaineers may not put up the best of records this season.
When this season is over however, go back and look at the statistics beyond overall record. If they continue at the current pace, there’s no reason to believe the Mountaineers won’t be able to keep up with the titans of the Big 12.
Coach Mazey has preached patience and respect for the process since he first took the job, and given a few years at the helm, Mazey could potentially put the Mountaineers back on the college baseball map.