Big 12 tournament gives WVU a last chance
After giving the NCAA baseball tournament selection committee some reason to look in its direction, West Virginia couldn’t sustain its earlier success and lurched to the finish line with seven straight losses.
Once the holder of a 27-17 overall record, the Mountaineers lost a three-game series at Kansas, went to College Park and lost a non-conference game to Maryland and then closed the regular season with three losses at Texas Tech.
But at least the earlier success gave the Mountaineers a berth in this week’s Big 12 Conference tournament in Oklahoma City.
Taking its 27-24 record into the double-elimination tournament, West Virginia is the No. 6 seed in the eight-team event.
The tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the 64-team national tournament that opens with 16 four-team regionals.
Kansas, the team that just recently swept a three-game set in Lawrence against the visiting Mountaineers, is the No. 3 seed and is West Virginia’s first-round opponent.
Oklahoma State has the No. 1 seed and will play No. 8 seed Oklahoma in the first round. Texas Christian is the No. 2 seed and will play No. 7 seed Baylor in its first game.
The other first round game has No. 4 seed Texas Tech facing No. 5 seed Texas in the opener for both those teams.
It would seem Oklahoma State, Texas Christian, Kansas, Texas Tech and Texas have all won enough to be in line for an at-large bid to the national tournament even if they don’t win the Big 12 event.
West Virginia’s spiraling six-loss skid within the league to end its regular season left it with a 9-14 conference record.
Left-hander Harrison Musgrave, the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year in 2013, is the likely starter against Kansas to open the tournament for the Mountaineers.