Game Preview: West Virginia Mountaineers

Maryland at WVU

After a come-from-behind win over William & Mary on Tuesday, Maryland takes on West Virginia in College Park for the second game in as many days. With Tuesday’s win, the Terps improved to 16-15 on the year and 6-1 in midweek matchups.

In the 2018 campaign, the Terps faced the Mountaineers in West Virginia to begin their last month of regular-season play. But West Virginia won 9-5, and Maryland came home with the loss.

Now, Maryland enters the Wednesday contest against West Virginia riding a two-game win streak, having won three of its last four games; the Terps took down the Fighting Illini last weekend with a 2-1 series win.

Three Terps are batting over .250: senior Taylor Wright (.280), sophomore Randy Bednar (.270) and freshman Maxwell Coster (.270). While Maryland’s lineup may not be stacked with high batting averages, almost all of the Terps’ usual starters have an OBP of .350 or above.

With a plethora of young arms in the bullpen, Maryland has been well-set on the mound in midweeks, and has the ability to pitch by committee if needed. With only four pitchers contributing in Tuesday’s matchup, the Terps have plenty of fresh arms to call upon on Wednesday, including Nick Turnbull (2.61 ERA) — who hasn’t pitched in almost a week — and closer John Murphy (3.68 ERA), who last pitched on Friday against Illinois.

West Virginia Mountaineers (19-12, 4-5 Big 12)

Last Season

West Virginia defeated Maryland 9-5 in West Virginia. The Mountaineers went on to a 29-27 record, 9-15 in Big 12 play, enough to qualify for the Big 12 tournament, of which they were eliminated from by TCU. As a team, it finished the season hitting .280, backing a pitching staff with a 4.79 ERA. 

This Season

The Mountaineers head to College Park coming off a 2-1 series win over No. 23 Oklahoma State. West Virginia will look to add to their 19-12 record, including a 6-1 record in midweek matchups.

Hitters to Watch

Only one Mountaineer — sophomore infielder Tyler Doanes — is batting above .300 (.306). Including Doanes, West Virginia has six players hitting above .250, including the team leader in OBP, senior Ivan Gonzalez (283 AVG, .425 OBP). Sophomore catcher Paul McIntosh, batting .257, leads the Mountaineers in homers with seven on the year — one-fourth of the team’s 28 so far this season. 

Relievers to Watch

With a pitching staff throwing a 3.46 ERA, the Mountaineers have three relievers with 0.00 ERAs, though two have pitched fewer than five innings. 

On Wednesday, the Mountaineers’ defense will be lead by junior Nick Snyder, who holds a 1.75 ERA in 51.2 innings pitched and six games started. The left-hander also has 38 strikeouts in those 51.2 innings, giving up only seven runs on 15 hits and 27 free bases (16 walks and eight hit batters).