#41 West Virginia Baseball 2017 Preview

West Virginia Mountaineers
Overall Rank: #41
Conference Rank: #5 Big 12
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West Virginia had a solid campaign in 2016. They won 36 games and ended up with a winning record in a decent Big 12. That was not enough to reach the NCAA Tournament, but the Mountaineers hope to build off that campaign and make it back to the NCAA Tournament. The pitching staff has a bit of reloading to do with Chad Donato, Ross Vance and Blake Smith moving on. BJ Myers figures to step into the main starting role, but younger players like sophomores Michael Grove and Tanner Campbell will need to be ready to play a much larger role in the rotation this year.
2016: 36-22, 12-11
2016 Postseason: None
Coach: Randy Mazey
Key Departed Players:
Chad Donato, P, 3.27 ERA, 96.1 IP, 111 SO
Ross Vance, P, 4.91 ERA, 91.2 IP, 91 SO
Blake Smith, P, 2.20 ERA, 32.2 IP, 42 SO, 8 SV
Ivan Vera, .381 BA, 0 HR, 23 RBI
Ray Guerrini, .289 BA, 6 HR, 26 RBI
Key Returning Players:
BJ Myers, P, 4.05 ERA, 66.2 IP, 53 SO
Darius Hill, OF, .342 BA, 3 HR, 40 RBI
Jackson Cramer, 1B, .300 BA, 9 HR, 45 RBI
Jimmy Galusky, IF, .282 BA, 1 HR, 17 RBI
Kyle Davis, IF, .280 BA, 10 HR, 43 RBI
West Virginia has plenty of returning power in the lineup. Jackson Cramer and Kyle Davis combined for 19 homeruns and 88 RBIs. Darius Hill batted .342 last season as a freshman and should be in for a big sophomore year. Hill is not as big of a homerun threat as Cramer or Davis, but he did lead the team with 20 doubles and batted in 40 runs so he certainly has some pop to his bat. As long as the Mountaineers can find a couple players who will get on base relatively consistently, the offense should be in great shape. The pitching staff is relatively young, but they are talented and if they can live up to that potential, WVU could make a surprise run towards a Big 12 title.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament
Madness 2017 Baseball Recruit Rankings:
#53 Alek Manoah



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