Final Look: Baseball Preseason

Shaun Wood returns to West Virginia's starting line-up a year after losing his rightfield position midway through last season. Garrett Hope returns to the game itself after beginning his collegiate career as linebacker on the football team. Here, the two sides of experience discuss their individual careers, and their hope for a season which starts Friday at Clemson with a 4:00 p.m. first pitch.

Wood, who played in 39 games with 26 starts, hit .226 with 13 RBI. The 6-6, 215 pounder has exceptional size, and the skillset to have an extended professional career, according to head coach Randy Mazey. Here, the sophomore speaks to his offseason development, his expectations for the season and what he likes about the outfield and the scoring production for a line-up which will need to remain steady in terms of production.

Hope, 6-2, 245 pounds, will begin as West Virginia's third catcher after two seasons in the football program playing buck linebacker and fullback. Hope played a season-best 19 offensive plays in WVU's upset of then-No. 4 Baylor, and was utilized on an additional 14 on special teams. Hope, who said he hadn't picked up a glove or swung a bat in three years, added that he has lost some weight and adjusted some of his muscle memory to baseball. He also discusses his relationship with starting backstop Cam O'Brien and why he chose to play baseball again. Hope also notes he "isn't sure" he will return to the football team, and how he believes he was "born to catch."


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