MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – For what is likely the final time this season, Randy Mazey’s West Virginia baseball team (30-20, 11-10 Big 12) will step onto the turf at Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark this weekend.
The Mountaineers, who will honor three seniors on Saturday, host Kansas State (27-24, 8-13 Big 12) with Big 12 Tournament seeding up for grabs.
West Virginia, by sweeping Kansas State and getting some help from across the conference, could finish as high as third in the league. Currently sixth in the Big 12, the Mountaineers can secure at least a sixth-place finish with just one win over the Wildcats.
WVU has dropped four of its last five conference weekend series. Kansas State, meanwhile, has won three of its last four weekend sets against conference foes.
Most recently, the Mountaineers lost two out of three games played against Oklahoma. WVU won a back-and-forth contest on Saturday but lost by 10 runs or more in each of the other two contests.
Kansas State won back-to-back games at home against Baylor to win that series, but then suffered a six-run road loss at No. 3 Virginia Tech on Tuesday.
Of note, Kansas State is now 6-17 in games played away from Tointon Family Stadium this season. WVU, meanwhile, is 14-6 inside Monongalia County Ballpark.
McGwire Holbrook (.333) and Austin Davis (.332) lead the way at the plate for the Mountaineers. Davis went 4-for-10 at the plate last weekend, while Holbrook batted 3-for-10 with three runs driven in against the Sooners.
Davis is seventh in the conference with 68 hits on the year, and he’s also second in the league with 26 stolen bases. The senior right fielder is tied with fellow outfielder Victor Scott II with 61 stolen bases in their career, which ties them with Brandon White for the second-most in program history.
West Virginia’s 144 stolen bases rank the Mountaineers second in the country, and first among Power 5 teams. On the other hand, Kansas State ranks eighth in the Big 12 in steals with 37.
Dominic Johnson leads the way for K-State and has been one of the league’s top hitters this season. The sophomore outfielder is eighth in the conference in batting average (.342), tenth in slugging percentage (.589), sixth in hits (69), and tied for fifth in doubles (17). He is also one of three KSU players with double-digit home runs on the year.
Wildcats’ junior outfielder Dylan Phillips enters Thursday’s series opener with a 10-game hitting streak in tact.
WVU backstop Dayne Leonard is working on a six-game hitting streak.
Junior Jacob Watters (2-6, 5.85 ERA) and sophomore German Fajardo (4-1, 3.11 ERA) will take the mound on Thursday for the series opener. Fajardo was the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week on May 9.
Watters (24), and KSU Saturday starter Blake Adams (27) both rank in the Top 5 in the Big 12 in strikeouts looking. Adams is also in the Top 10 in the league in innings pitched (73.1) and total strikeouts (74).
Neither team has announced a starting pitcher for Saturday’s regular-season finale.
First pitch on Thursday and Friday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET, with Saturday’s contest slated to start at noon.