Game two will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, followed by the final game of the series at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 27. WVU (29-11, 21-4) and UConn (21-22, 7-11) have met a total of 35 times since 1996. The Huskies took the series, 2-1, last season in Storrs, Conn. The Mountaineers fell 5-0 in game one, won 14-0 in game two and fell 2-0 in game three.
Pierre LePage leads the Huskies at the plate, batting .339, with 58 hits, including eight doubles and 28 RBIs. Right-hander John Folino (3.62 ERA, 3-3, 43H, 27K) will pitch Friday night, while lefty rookie Mike Hashem will face the Mountaineers on Sunday (1.88 ERA, 2-1, 15H, 20K). Saturday's pitcher remains to be determined. West Virginia has a firm hold on the league's offensive charts as the Mountaineers are hitting a collective .359 and slugging .553, leading the Big East in both categories. The Mountaineers have scored 85 more runs than any other conference team with 370.
Six Mountaineers are batting .400 or above, led by third baseman Vince Belnome who has a .425 average on the year, and a team-best 55 RBIs. Senior Tyler Kuhn leads the pack with 71 hits, including 16 doubles, four triples and seven home runs, and 53 runs.
On the mound, the Mountaineers will most likely look to junior right-hander Josh Whitlock (6-3, 5.22 ERA, 47 K, 33 BB) and Stephen Morrison (5-2, 3.38 ERA, 42K, 35BB) as starters. Sophomore Chris Enourato, who leads the team with six saves, will be counted on as WVU's closer. All three games will be aired live on WAJR AM-1440 and U-92 radio stations.
Also, the West Virginia University rowing team will travel to Oak Ridge, Tenn., to compete at the Big East Championships, on Sunday, April 27, on Melton Hill Lake. This season the Mountaineers are entered in three events, including the varsity eight, the varsity four and novice eight.
"Even though we are entered in only half of the championship events and therefore out of contention for any team honors, our goals in the individual events do not change," says Head Coach Jimmy King. "First of all, we want to have the best race to date this season and second we want to place higher than our seeding."
WVU is seeded eighth in the varsity eight competition, seventh in the varsity four and seventh in the novice eight. Last season the Mountaineers' varsity four boat finished in second place at the Big East Championships with a time of 7:35.75, behind tournament winner Notre Dame. The novice four also posted an excellent finished as it crossed the line in third place (8:00.26).
West Virginia finished the weekend tied for eighth with Villanova as both teams collected 29 points, in 2007. The Mountaineers have had a tremendous start to the 2008 season after the varsity four posted a second-place time of 7:32.4, in the Grand Finals at the Knecht Cup on April 13. The varsity four boat consists of Brittany Brooks, Alita Meyers, Kim Benda, Caroline Rettig with coxswain Stephanie Brown.