The West Virginia baseball team has played 23 games so far this season, and with that the team has begun learning what works and what doesn't.
One thing that has worked is Paul McIntosh, at the plate and in the field at different positions.
McIntosh, a Miami Gardens, Florida, native, has started and played in 17 games for WVU this season, with the only games he missed coming earlier in the season. He missed all three games in the Coastal Carolina Baseball Tournament and the three-game series against Central Michigan.
Over the six missed games, the Mountaineers went 3-3 and were outscored 44-42. The team used a combination of Vince Ippoliti and McGwire Holbrook to fill in for McIntosh.
The senior catcher has done a great job at the plate this season with 16 hits, 10 runs and 12 RBIs in 62 at-bats. McIntosh has also hit four home runs this season, which is tied for second most on the team (Mikey Kluska and Matt McCormick) and only one home run behind Kevin Brophy.
Having played in 17 games this season, McIntosh averages 3.6 at-bats per game and averages one hit in every 3.8 at-bats, nearly one hit per game. In his 62 at-bats, he has struck out four times for a team-low 6% of the time. The next lowest is Tyler Doanes, who has struck out three times in 45 at-bats (6.6%). The rest of the team strikes out over 10% of the time.
McIntosh has been even better behind the plate this season with 141 putouts this season, the most on the team by far, McCormick is second on the team with 91. He also has been the most successful fielder for West Virginia with a 100% fielding rate.
The Mountaineer backstop is one of the few West Virginia players to have played the majority of the team’s games and record zero errors.
This season, 19 baserunners have attempted to steal on McIntosh, and 14 have been successful with five thrown out by the senior catcher. While he has only picked off five baserunners, it is still a team high with the next closest being Adam Tulloch, who caught three.
While McIntosh has played the most games at catcher by far, he has only allowed three passed balls. In his limited time behind the plate, Ippoliti allowed double the amount of passed balls.
In West Virginia’s doubleheader against Kansas on March 27, McIntosh played catcher for game one and left field for the second. McIntosh made no fielding errors in either game and went a combined 2-for-6 with a home run and two runs scored during the doubleheader.
The team will continue Big 12 play on Friday with a three-game series in Waco, Texas, against Baylor. The first game will start at 8:30 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.