MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Aidan Major and Grant Siegel have had similar starts to their college baseball careers.

Siegel played his freshman season at Tulane, appearing in 14 games, with nine of those appearances being starts. He earned All-AAC second team honors and finished the season with a 7-1 record with a 3.02 ERA.

Major did not log as many innings for the Mountaineers during his freshman season, though he was effective when on the mound. He finished the year with a 3-0 record, and put forth a pair of stellar performances against Pitt. Five of Major’s 11 appearances in 2022 were starts.

Both Major and Siegel entered this season figuring to be starters for Randy Mazey’s pitching staff. For various reasons, neither has been able to hold onto the starting job. However, both have pitched big innings, and gotten pivotal results, out of the bullpen in recent games.

“After being the weekend starter and losing that role, most people would just get bitter and butthurt and all the terms you know, but he hasn’t,” Mazey said of Siegel. “He’s still willing to do whatever he can do to help the team win.”

Take Saturday’s game against TCU. Siegel entered the game in the top of the sixth inning with the bases loaded, and the Horned Frogs threatening to add to their lead. Siegel shut the door on the potential big inning, inducing an inning-ending ground ball against the only batter he faced.

“That was the difference in the game,” said Mazey. “Grant Siegel’s been in that moment before, and just got a huge out for us.”

West Virginia’s lineup rewarded Siegel by scoring six runs in the bottom of the frame. With WVU leading by three runs, Mazey called on Major out of the bullpen. For the second Saturday in a row, the Mill Hall, Pennsylvania native was summoned to get important outs.

Last week, Major did it against Oklahoma State. The sophomore pitched 5 1/3 innings against the Top 25 Cowboys, allowing just one run on two hits and striking out eight of the 17 batters he faced.

At home against TCU seven days later, Major tossed three shutout innings and recorded four punchouts as he picked up the save.

“It has been difficult at times,” Major said Saturday when asked about staying ready for whatever role he might be used in on any given gameday. “It’s been up and down. There’s been some starts, some long relief appearances, some closing, but at the end of the day it’s all about getting the job done.”

Major spoke about the need to stay mentally strong and focused to properly handle a role change like the one he is undergoing. He credited Mazey and the rest of the coaching staff for communicating to players what their role will be game-to-game.

Major said that takes some of the weight off his shoulders and helps him stay ready to play. From Mazey’s perspective, the attitude of players like Major and Siegel has led to his team’s 28-11 record entering Sunday’s series finale.

“When you have a good team, guys will do whatever they have to do in order for the Mountaineers to win the game,” said Mazey. “That’s the sign of a good team.”

Entering play on Sunday, the Mountaineers have the second-best team ERA in the Big 12. West Virginia’s pitchers have surrendered the second-fewest hits, runs, and walks in the league, and have held opposing hitters to the second-lowest batting average.

Since moving to the bullpen, Siegel has tossed three consecutive scoreless appearances. Major tossed his first scoreless outing in more than a month on Saturday against TCU.

The duo is settling into their roles as West Virginia appears to be heating up once again as a team.