Tournament Format Altered

In the wake of powerful tornadoes that wreaked havoc as they swept through the state of Oklahoma on Monday, the Big 12 Conference announced on Tuesday the schedule and format of its postseason baseball tournament had been changed.

Previously scheduled to begin on Wednesday, the tournament will not start until Thursday. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement released by the conference office that the league originally considered canceling the event outright, but Oklahoma City officials, including the mayor, indicated their desire to see the tournament proceed.

"We believe the tournament can serve as a testament to the strong Oklahoma spirit and to the resiliency of the Oklahoma people," Bowlsby said in the conference's statement.

Because of the alteration to the schedule, the league also changed the format of the tournament itself. It no longer will be a double-elimination event, but has instead been replaced by a pool play format.

The participants were divided into two groups, and West Virginia finds itself in Pool Two. There, it will be matched against Kansas (on Thursday), TCU (on Friday) and Oklahoma State (on Saturday). The team with the best record in that group will then face the winner of Pool One (Oklahoma, Baylor, Kansas State and Texas Tech) in a winner-take-all championship game on Sunday afternoon.

Earlier Tuesday, the conference released its top honors for the season. WVU's Harrison Musgrave was named the league's pitcher of the year. A Bridgeport native and unanimous All-Big 12 first team pick, Musgrave had a 5-0 record in Big 12 play with a 1.02 ERA. First baseman Ryan McBroom and designated hitter Matt Frazer were named to the All-Big 12 second team as well.

Outfielder Bobby Boyd, second baseman Billy Fleming, catcher Alan Filauro, outfielder Jacob Rice and outfielder Brady Wilson also received honorable mention.

In what may come as a surprise to Mountaineer backers, first-year coach Randy Mazey was not named the league's coach of the year. Instead, that honor went to Kansas State's Brad Hill, who led a Wildcat team that was picked to finish seventh in the conference's preseason poll to the Big 12 regular season championship.


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