The sixth-place ranking also makes West Virginia the top Big East team. Stanford stands in first with 907 points, followed by Texas (684), California (629), Penn State (622.75), Ohio State (589.50), West Virginia (578), Tennessee (576.75), Arizona State (573.50), North Carolina (568.50) and Wisconsin (568.50).
"We had outstanding success with our seventh-place finish after the fall season," director of athletics Ed Pastilong said. "Now we have followed that up with a strong performance in our winter sports. We are very proud of our accomplishments on the field and in the classroom, and it's a tribute to our coaches, staff and student-athletes to be ranked sixth at this point."
The U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 20 sports. The final standings will be published upon completion of the spring season.
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West Virginia's baseball team will face Seton Hall in a three-game Big East series starting today at Owen T. Carroll Field in South Orange, N.J. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. Game two will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 12, followed by the final game of the series at noon on Sunday, April 13.
Friday's game will mark the 32nd meeting in program history between Seton Hall (19-12, 8-4) and WVU (25-7, 6-3), a series which began in 1976. The Mountaineers lead the series 21-10, but were swept in last year's three-game series at Hawley Field. SHU is currently on a seven-game winning streak, winning its last game, 2-1, against Fordham on April 9. Mark Pappas leads the Pirates, hitting .301 with 34 hits, including 12 extra base hits. The senior infielder also leads Seton Hall with a team high 55 RBIs.
Junior Cory Young will most likely pitch against the Mountaineers. The left-hander has a 4-2 record, and a 3.30 ERA, pitching 46.1 innings, with 42 strikeouts to just 14 walks. Young earned this week's Big East Pitcher of the Week award after throwing a complete-game shutout in a 3-0 win over Pitt on April 5. Young only allowed two hits, no walks and struck out 10. Sophomore right-hander Sean Black (1-2, 3.63 ERA, 38 K, 21 BB) will also see action this weekend for the Pirates.
West Virginia currently has five sluggers hitting .400 or above. Tyler Kuhn and Vince Belnome are tied with 58 hits and each has a .436 batting average. Kuhn leads the team with 23 extra base hits, including six home runs, while Belnome leads the squad with 46 RBIs. On the mound, the Mountaineers will likely look to junior Josh Whitlock (6-1, 4.12 ERA, 38 K, 23 BB) and sophomore Stephen Morrison (4-1, 2.81 ERA, 31 K, 25 BB). Sophomore Chris Enourato, who leads the team with five saves, will be counted on as the closer.
WVU downed Ohio University 13-12 in 10 innings in its last outing on April 9. The win was the Mountaineers' second nine-run come-from-behind victory in the last week, putting them fifth in the Big East standings behind No. 22 St. John's, Notre Dame, Cincinnati and Seton Hall. West Virginia curently holds the highest non-conference winning percentage in the league at .781 while the Mountaineers and Pirates are tied with a .667 conference win percentage.