Talking WVU baseball with ESPN’s Mike Rooney The Gold and Blue Nation Podcast

On the diamond, the Mountaineers are red hot — and they're catching the attention of folks around the country. ESPN's Mike Rooney joins us for the latest edition of The Gold and Blue Nation Podcast, presented by Pritt & Spano, to discuss WVU baseball, its first place status in the Big 12, its biggest star in JJ Wetherholt and its chances to host NCAA Tournament games. 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 12 West Virginia baseball team brings its eight-game winning streak back to Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark on Wednesday for the Backyard Brawl. First pitch against the Panthers is set for 6:30 p.m.

The game will be available to stream on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and can also be heard on the Mountaineer Sports Network baseball radio network, including the flagship station 100.9 Jack FM in Morgantown, and on the Varsity Network app. Andrew Caridi will bring you all the play-by-action.

Promotions for the game include Baseball Bingo as well a replica t-shirt giveaway for the first 300 fans.

The Mountaineers are currently 33-11 after sweeping Baylor on the road over the weekend. It was the first time in program history that WVU had swept a Big 12 opponent on the road and the first conference road sweep since taking three at UConn in 2009.

In the latest rankings, West Virginia is the highest it has ever been, reaching No. 11 in the Baseball America poll and No. 12 in the NCAA-recognized D1Baseball poll.

Sophomore JJ Wetherholt was named Big 12 Player of the Week for the second time this season after hitting .529 (9-for-17) with three home runs, a triple, nine RBI, and eight runs scored while putting up a 1.726 OPS. With his two stolen bases on Sunday against the Bears, he became the first WVU player to ever have at least 10 home runs and 30 stolen bases. In fact, he is the only WVU player to ever have 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases.

Graduate student Blaine Traxel was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week for the second time as he threw a complete-game shutout against Baylor with six strikeouts. He was also named NCBWA National Co-Pitcher of the Week.

The Mountaineers took the first edition of the Backyard Brawl this season when they defeated Pitt, 9-4, at PNC Park on April 19.

Pitt enters the game with a 20-21 record after sweeping California over the weekend and currently sits at No. 70 in the RPI.

Kyle Hess leads the team with a .333 batting average while Noah Martinez has 42 RBI and CJ Funk has a team-high 12 home runs.

Erubiel Candelario will get the start against the Mountaineers and is currently 2-1 with a 5.80 ERA

Against WVU at PNC Park, Candelario threw 3.1 innings in relief and allowed just one run while striking out two. Nash Bryan leads the team with five saves.