Times West Virginian
West Virginia University’s new baseball coach Randy Mazey is in for a lot of challenges in his first season, not the least of which is the 56-game schedule that was announced on Friday by director of athletics Oliver Luck.
“I am excited to announce the 2013 schedule as we enter a new era of Mountaineer baseball,” Luck said in making the announcement. “Randy Mazey has put together a challenging non-conference schedule to go along with playing the Big 12 schools that have a history of producing talented baseball teams. This year will be challenging with the travel, but we hope to see the fans come out and support the team.”
The schedule is unique in that the team will travel throughout West Virginia to play 23 games in anticipation of building a new stadium in Morgantown to replace Hawley Field and be up to the standards of the Big 12 conference, which is known as one of best college baseball conferences.
Nine of the teams WVU will play competed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
“I really like our schedule this season and would personally like to thank all of the coaches who worked with us to accommodate our needs at such a late date,” Mazey said. “Because of the quality non-conference teams, the Big 12 opponents and the amount of games that will be played away from home, this schedule will be one of the most challenging of any team in the nation.
“I’m very excited that the Mountaineer fans from all over West Virginia will have a chance to see us play in Morgantown, Charleston or Beckley.”
A season-opening 10-game road trip begins with a three-game series at North Florida (Feb. 15-17). The following weekend the Mountaineers will travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., for a pair of games against Youngstown State (Feb. 22-23) and Wake Forest (Feb. 23-24). A trip to the Caravelle Resort Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., begins the second month of the season for games against Indiana (March 1), UMBC (March 2) and Florida Atlantic (March 3).
The Mountaineers’ home schedule begins March 5 with a game against Eastern Kentucky in Morgantown, while WVU will make a return trip to Eastern Kentucky on March 26. The tournament portion of the season concludes with the Snowbird Classic in Punta Gorda, Fla., against Central Michigan (March 8), Maine (March 9) and Iowa (March 10).
WVU will take part in a home-and-home series with Pitt, traveling on March 12 and hosting the Panthers on April 30 in Morgantown.
The Big 12 season begins on the road against Kansas State (March 15-17), while WVU will host Texas Tech in Charleston from March 22-24. The Mountaineers close out March with a four-game non-conference series in Morgantown against New Orleans.
WVU will renew a rivalry with Marshall in 2013 with the teams playing three games. The first will be in Charleston on March 19, followed by a game on April 2 in Morgantown. The series finale will be in Beckley on May 14.
Eleven of the first 14 games in April are on the road, highlighted by conference series at Baylor (April 5-7) and Texas (April 19-21). WVU will also travel to Ohio State (April 9), Liberty (April 12-14) and Youngstown State (April 24). Home contests during the span are against Youngstown State (April 10) in Morgantown and Morehead State (April 16) in Charleston.
West Virginia will then host nine consecutive home Big 12 games beginning with Kansas (April 26-28) in Beckley. The Mountaineers then take on Oklahoma (May 3-5) and TCU (May 10-12) in Charleston to close out the home campaign.
The final series of the season will be at Oklahoma State (May 16-18)
The 2013 Big 12 Tournament is slated for May 22-26 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Okla., before the NCAA Tournament begins May 31.