Mountaineers win six of 11, with pitching
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Even though it has been able to play two games in Morgantown (winning over both Towson and Canisius), West Virginia’s Mountaineers have not been able to solve the cold weather concerning their hitting or offense.
With a 6-5 record through last weekend where they lost two of three games in Corvallis, Oregon to Oregon State, the Mountaineers had compiled only a .194 team batting average.
Only Tyler Doanes (batting .317) and Darius Hill (batting. 300) have averages above .231.
But the team has an earned run average of 2.43, with its four starting pitchers all sporting low-run ERAs.
Alex Manoah, the team’s acknowledged best pitcher, has started three times and shows a 3.14 ERA with far more strikeouts than innings pitched. Jackson Wolf also has three starts and has a 2.79 ERA. Kade Strowd has a 1.56 ERA with his three starts. And Nick Snyder has a 2.70 ERA in two starts.
Freshman Beau Lowery, the pitching son of John Lowery, Jr. and the grandson of Jefferson High baseball coach John Lowery, Sr., has already appeared in five games. He has an 0-1 record with one save in 6.1 innings. The left-hander has allowed seven hits, while walking three and fanning seven.
Lowery had Tommy John surgery more than a year ago, but is back pitching after walking on to the WVU roster.
West Virginia plays its home games in Granville at the Monongalia County Ballpark, a place that can hold 3,500 people with mostly chairback seats and a covered grandstand area.
Monongalia County Ballpark has a playing surface covered by a synthetic substance that allows for games to be played if the weather isn’t too bad.
The Mountaineers opened the 2019 season playing three games in the Atlanta area against Kennesaw State, Georgia Tech and Georgia State. Later, West Virginia traveled to Statesboro, Ga. to play multiple games against Georgia Southern.
The first Big 12 Conference games are scheduled to take place on March 22-24 in Waco, Texas, against Baylor. Each conference series consists of three games.
West Virginia’s opening Big 12 Conference series at home comes the next weekend against Oklahoma.
Among conference teams, Texas made waves in a three-game series in Austin against then-unbeaten and No. 1 ranked LSU. The Longhorns defeated the Tigers in three-straight games to improve their record to 10-3 and leave LSU at 8-3.
With its corps of starting pitchers, the Mountaineers could be a factor in any late-season, chasing after an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament.