GRANVILLE \u2014 In the grand scheme of things, this weekend series against UNLV could have been more disaster than delight.\r\nWhat began in disappointment, finished with, well, hope for a WVU baseball team struggling to grind its way back into contention in the Big 12 and for the NCAA tournament.\r\n\u201cThis was a big weekend for us. This is just what we needed,\u201d WVU first baseman Marques Inman said April 8, after the Mountaineers closed out a 7-5 victory against UNLV, in front of 1,013 fans inside Monongalia County Ballpark. \u201cAfter that first game on Friday (an 11-4 loss), things weren\u2019t looking too well, but we turned it around quick.\u201d\r\nWVU (13-15) won the final two games of the series, including a walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth Friday night.\r\nIt was WVU\u2019s third and fourth win this season against teams ranked in the top 40 of the RPI. UNLV (23-11) is ranked No. 36 in the RPI.\r\nThe RPI rating \u2014 based on a team\u2019s record and its strength of schedule \u2014 is the featured presentation right now for WVU head coach Randy Mazey, maybe more important than the team\u2019s ERA or batting average.\r\n\u201cI don\u2019t know if everyone out there understands the importance of RPI, but the number attached to us is more important to me than my wedding anniversary,\u201d said Mazey, very much with tongue in cheek.\r\nIn a nutshell: The Mountaineers have played 21 of 28 games on the road or on a neutral field, with 13 games coming against teams in the RPI\u2019s top 40.\r\nAs it stands, only North Carolina has played a more difficult schedule than the Mountaineers in the entire country, according to the RPI.\r\n\u201cGetting a home series win against a team ranked [in the top 40] is huge for us,\u201d said WVU pitcher-outfielder Braden Zarbnisky, who picked up his second win of the season on the mound and also collected three hits and a stolen base. \u201cNext week, we have five games coming up and Oklahoma State coming in, who is on a roll. It\u2019s a big confidence booster for us.\u201d\r\nTo break it all down, the Mountaineers are still two victories shy of a .500 record, yet are still ranked No. 21 overall in the RPI.\r\nIn terms of having the potential to play in the postseason, WVU is right in line with some of the top teams in the country, despite its losing record.\r\n\u201cWe said at the end of the first month-and-a-half, when we get done traveling, we always want to be in the top 25 of the RPI,\u201d Mazey said. \u201cThat always gives us a fighting chance once the conference season starts.\r\n\u201cIf we do well in the Big 12, you\u2019d like to think we would have a chance to play in the postseason. We haven\u2019t played great, but we survived, which is what we need to do.\u201d\r\nWVU needed no walk-off this time. Instead, the Mountaineers took a 7-2 lead after six innings, and then had to hold on as the Rebels scored three runs in the seventh.\r\nInman connected for his third home run in as many games, a two-run shot in the first inning into the leftfield bullpen.\r\nIn just his second start of the season, Zarbnisky picked up the win and went five innings, while allowing just one earned run.\r\nHe added three singles and scored three runs.\r\nWVU relief pitcher Shane Ennis pitched the final three innings for his third save of the season. He struck out three and didn\u2019t allow a hit.\r\nThe Mountaineers will travel to Pittsburgh\u2019s PNC Park to play Penn State (7-17), at 6:30 p.m. April 10.\r\nIt\u2019s the second consecutive season WVU has played at the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, beating Penn State, 4-2, there last season.