Looking Back To The Field

WVU head baseball coach Randy Mazey admits that the game is not front and center in his thought process today, but West Virginia's changed Big 12 tournament schedule and format may give him a couple of things to ponder once he and his team take care of the priorities of tornado victim relief over the next day and half.

Mazey and his squad sprang into action almost immediately following Monday's killer tornado outbreak in Oklahoma City, purchasing items to help in the relief effort and volunteering their services to help. That effort remained in the forefront on Tuesday, with the team set to visit a relief center to distribute many of the items they purchased. While Mazey is to be congratulated for setting the example of helping others first, eventually he will have to turn his attention back to the games, which are scheduled to begin on Thursday and run through Saturday.

WVU will get at least some semblance of order in the three days of pool play, as it will face Kansas, TCU and Oklahoma State at 4:00 p.m. each afternoon. Mazey said he had not given much thought to how the changed format might affect his rotation or approach to each game, but he did say that Friday's starter against TCU is still undecided. Harrison Musgrave is expected to start Thursday's game against the Wildcats.

The changed format will pit the winners of the two pools in a single championship game on Sunday. If one team does not sweep all three of its pool games, ties will be broken based on head to head results in pool play. For instance, if two teams are tied at 2-1, then the winner of the head to head game in pool play would advance. If three teams tie at 2-1, then the team with the highest seeding coming in to the tournament would advance. In the latter instance, Oklahoma State would win any tie it was involved in. WVU would only prevail in a three way tie if the Cowboys were not involved in the tie.

"This is my first experience with this format," Mazey said. "I'm not sure if I can say that I like it until we go through it. I will say that I like our chances. Our guys are motivated, and they are playing in the underdog role again. They've done that all year."

Although Mazey admitted to uncertainty surrounding what to expect from the pool play setup, and how it might change his approach, he had no problem with the last-minute switch.

"I'm in complete agreement," he said of the postponement and change. "In light of everything that happened, we didn't want to be out there hitting balls when people were still searching for their loved ones. The administrators and athletic directors made the right decision."


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