WVU begins tournament play on Friday with a game against Virginia Tech at 11 a.m. The Mountaineers will then journey to the campus of Coastal Carolina on Feb. 25 at 3 p.m., to go shoulder-to-shoulder against NC State, before returning to Myrtle Beach on Feb. 26 at 11 a.m., to face George Mason.
The Mountaineers (3-1) return to competitive play after coming off the annual Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge in St. Petersburg, Fla. WVU started off the tournament by defeating Northwestern (7-3), then triumphing over Penn State (4-1), and winning against Iowa (4-3). WVU fell in the final game of the tournament against Michigan (14-3).
Left fielder Matt Frazer led the team offensively with a 7-for-14 performance in the tournament, including four runs, two doubles, one home run and four RBIs. First baseman Ryan McBroom also had a successful weekend at the plate, batting 6-for-15 with two runs, three doubles and four RBIs. Left-hander Marshall Thompson led the Mountaineer pitching staff, throwing six innings and allowing just one run on six hits against Penn State. The bullpen was also successful, led by Austin Pressly, Pen Nakazato and Danny Dierdorff.
Virginia Tech enters the tournament with a 3-1 record so far this season. The Hokies defeated Bradley twice and split results with Kennesaw State. Chad Pinder leads the team at the plate and went 8-for-19 in the team's first four games with two runs, five doubles, one triple and five RBIs. The Hokies are expected to start right-hander Manny Martir, who earned a no-decision in his first outing. Martir went seven innings, allowing one run on two hits with eight strikeouts.
NC State owns a 3-1 overall record. The Wolfpack are coming off a home tournament that saw NC State defeat Marshall and Youngstown State before falling to Wright State with a 5-4 loss. The Wolfpack hitters erupted in a 10-0 win over UNC Wilmington in a mid-week game. Four NC State hitters are batting above .400, led by Chris Diaz who is 9-for-18 with six runs, two doubles, one home run and six RBIs. The Wolfpack will be starting right-hander Logan Jernigan, who is 1-0 with five innings pitched. Jernigan has allowed three runs on three hits.
George Mason will face the Mountaineers with a 1-2 record. Both losses, with scores of 4-1 and 4-3, were against Elon. Dan Schafferman leads the team with a 4-for-10 performance with one run and one double last weekend. Expected to get the start is right-hander John Williams, who pitched three innings of relief last weekend, allowing just two hits and striking out three.