WVU, Irish Tangle In Three-Game Set

West Virginia has been the surprise team of the Big East. The Mountaineers will find out if they are good - or merely lucky - this weekend.

In inarguably the biggest series of the season thus far, WVU plays host to league leader Notre Dame in a three-game set starting at 7:05 tonight at Hawley Field. Games two and three are slated for Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m., respectively

Notre Dame (23-9-1, 10-2) enters having won 10 straight. Third baseman A.J. Pollock earned his second consecutive Big East Player of the Week honor after going 11 for 19 with eight runs scored and five RBIs in the irish's last five games. He leads the team with a .400 batting average and has 52 hits, 34 runs and 28 RBI. David Phelps was named Pitcher of the Week by the league on Monday, after allowing just five hits and one unearned run in 8.2 innings of work. He is 4-3 with an ERA of 3.31 and will start tonight.

The Mountaineers (27-9, 7-5) currently have six players hitting .400 or better. Tyler Kuhn leads the team with 27 extra base hits, including seven home runs, while Vince Belnome has a team-best 53 RBI. West Virginia will likely start Josh Whitlock (6-2), who has a 4.80 ERA with 43 strikeouts and 29 walks. The junior has allowed 44 hits in 54.1 innings. Chris Enourato, who leads the team with six saves, will close.

WVU blanked Duquesne 14-0 on Tuesday. Kuhn led West Virginia with four hits, including two doubles, one home run, three RBIs and three runs scored. Justin Parks had three hits and three runs, while Belnome and Austin Markel added two hits each. Kuhn was one triple short of the cycle and extended his hit streak to 22.

Friday's game will mark the 47th meeting in program history between Notre Dame and WVU. The series began in 1902. The Fighting Irish lead 32-14 and took the set 2-1 on its home field last year.

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