West Virginia baseball opens big series with Texas Tech

Gold and Blue Nation

The West Virginia University baseball team takes on No. 7 Texas Tech in a three-game, weekend series, presented by University Apartments, from April 16-18, at Monongalia County Ballpark in Morgantown.

Friday’s series opener is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, while Saturday and Sunday’s matchups are set for 4 p.m., and 1 p.m., respectively. On Sunday, the Mountaineers will “Lace Up 4 Pediatric Cancer” to support the Go4theGoal Foundation and WVU Medicine Children’s to help kids battling cancer. The team will wear gold shoelaces to represent its encouragement in the fight against pediatric cancer.

Tickets to all three contests are sold out. However, a limited number of WVU student tickets will be available on game days in pairs of two. Student tickets can be picked up at Gate A or C of Monongalia County Ballpark. Students are admitted free with a valid student I.D.

Fans are reminded to check the WVU baseball social media pages for updates on limited player/guest-returned tickets prior to every home game. If those are made available to the general public, they will be released for purchase starting three hours before first pitch and can be found on WVUGAME.com. Any available tickets can be purchased on a first-come, first-serve basis and are priced at $7.

Fans can listen to each game on the Mountaineer Sports Network from Learfield IMG College on 100.9 WZST-FM, as well as various affiliates throughout the state, the TuneIn Radio App and WVUsports.com. Additionally, all three games will broadcast live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. For links to live stats, audio and streams, visit WVUsports.com.

Senior left-handed pitcher Jackson Wolf (3-3, 3.05 ERA) goes for the Mountaineers on Friday, while Texas Tech counters with redshirt senior left-hander Patrick Monteverde (5-1, 2.58 ERA). On Saturday, junior left-hander Adam Tulloch (0-3, 7.03 ERA) gets the ball for WVU against Texas Tech sophomore right-hander Micah Dallas (1-2, 3.37 ERA). Freshman left-hander Ben Hampton (3-0, 3.10 ERA) takes the hill for Sunday’s series finale with sophomore left-hander Mason Montgomery (1-1, 4.13 ERA) of Texas Tech.

WVU (13-14, 4-5 Big 12) owns a 14-13 advantage over Texas Tech (24-7, 5-4 Big 12) in the all-time series, including 5-4 in Morgantown. The two teams met six times in 2019, with the Mountaineers winning four of those contests. Most recently, West Virginia topped TTU, 2-0, on May 25, 2019, in the Big 12 Championship Semifinal in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Last time out, West Virginia returned home to take down in-state foe Marshall, 9-3, on April 14, in Morgantown. WVU tallied multiple runs in four different innings in the win, helping the club to its 10th victory over the Thundering Herd in its last 12 meetings. Freshman catcher McGwire Holbrook went 3-for-3 at the plate, while senior infielder Tyler Doanes registered two hits and three RBI. Fifth-year senior first baseman/outfielder Hudson Byorick and junior outfielder Austin Davis also drove in a pair against MU.

On the mound, sophomore left-handed pitcher Jake Carr earned the win after allowing just one run on two hits in 4.0 innings. The St. Albans, West Virginia, native struck out three in the victory. He, along with six Mountaineer relievers, combined to yield just one hit to Marshall after the first inning.

Redshirt junior catcher/outfielder Vince Ippoliti leads WVU with a .324 average at the plate, while freshman infielder Mikey Kluska paces the club in hits (33) and RBI (19). Fifth-year senior infielder Kevin Brophy and sophomore catcher/infielder Matt McCormick continue to co-lead the Mountaineers in home runs, with six, and Davis and sophomore outfielder Victor Scott’s nine stolen bases are tied for the team’s best.

Wolf is sitting with a 3.05 ERA in a team-best 41.1 innings of work to lead the pitching staff, while Hampton is at 3.10 in 20.1 innings. Both have three wins on the year.

Texas Tech is led by ninth-year coach Tim Tadlock. The Red Raiders enter the weekend with a 24-7 mark, including 5-4 in conference play. Earlier this week, TTU earned a two-game, midweek sweep of Stephen F. Austin (4-3 and 7-5) from April 13-14, in Lubbock.

Tech is listed as high as No. 7 in this week’s USA TODAY Baseball Coaches Poll. In Big 12 play, Tech took two of three from then-No. 14 Oklahoma State (March 19-21), dropped two of three at Kansas State (April 1-3) and most recently went 2-1 against then-No. 10 TCU (April 9-11).

Of note, this weekend marks only the Red Raiders’ second true road series of the year. The squad is 20-2 at home, 1-2 on the road and 3-3 at neutral sites.

One of the top hitting teams in college baseball, TTU enters the weekend ranked No. 3 nationally in walks (189), No. 4 in home runs (51), No. 7 in slugging percentage (.513) and No. 8 in runs (253). Sophomore infielder/outfielder Dru Baker leads the charge with a .427 average, while freshman infielder Jace Jung is hitting .404 with 15 home runs, 46 RBI, 32 runs scored and 28 walks.

On the mound, Monteverde is 5-1 with a 2.58 ERA in 45.1 IP to lead the pitching staff.

For more information on the Mountaineers, follow @WVUBaseball on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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