The West Virginia baseball team has been on a downward spiral as it has lost three straight games, including a loss against Pittsburgh on Tuesday afternoon. Now, the Mountaineers will face Baylor in a three-game series starting Friday.
West Virginia’s last game was one to forget on Tuesday in a loss in the Backyard Brawl. In the loss, the Mountaineers combined for eight hits and only one run to lose its first game against Pittsburgh since 2016.
The Mountaineers (11-12, 3-3 Big 12) will now turn their attention to Baylor with a goal to fix some major issues. West Virginia currently ranks No. 8 in both batting and pitching in the Big 12 conference.
Scoring runs has been a significant issue for WVU as it has only scored 131 total runs in 23 games. That is the lowest amount in the Big 12 with the next lowest by Kansas with 160.
Pitching has also been an issue as the Mountaineers have a combined 5.77 ERA. The Mountaineers have also given up the second most runs with 151.
Baylor (19-10, 1-5 Big 12) is currently on a six-game winning streak, but all wins are against non-conference opponents. In their last Big 12 series, the Bears were swept in three games by the TCU Horned Frogs.
In its last outing, Baylor came back from five runs down to defeat UT Arlington, 7-6. Freshman outfielder Jared McKenzie was one of the leading hitters for the Bears with a 2-for-5 game with one home run and two RBI’s.
The Baylor offense has been electrifying this season as it leads the Big 12 with a combined .307 batting average. However, the Bears only rank No. 5 in runs scored with a total of 199.
The pitching staff has had strong performances on the mound throughout the season with a combined 3.76 ERA. Junior left-hander Tyler Thomas (3-2) has been crucial for the Bears with a 1.65 ERA on the year. Thomas leads the team in strikeouts with 45 in 43.2 innings on the mound.
In his last game on April 1, Thomas pitched a complete game shutout against North Carolina A&T. Thomas only allowed four hits while striking out eight batters in the start.
West Virginia’s ace has been senior left-hander Jackson Wolf (3-2). In six starts, Wolf has a 2.36 ERA and leads the team in strikeouts with 38 in 34.1 innings of work.
West Virginia has lost the last five meetings against Baylor with the most recent meeting occurring in 2019. Since 2016, the Mountaineers have only defeated the Bears three times. WVU is 9-11 all-time against Baylor since joining the Big 12.
First pitch on Friday is set for 8:30 p.m. and the game will be nationally televised on ESPNU.