WVU roundup: Mountaineers to face Maryland in baseball

In a rematch of last season’s NCAA Regional, the WVU baseball team opens the month of May with a midweek matchup against Maryland at 6:30 p.m. May 1, at Monongalia County Ballpark.

Tickets are available at wvugame.com, by calling 1-800-WVU GAME and at the Mountaineer Ticket Office at the WVU Coliseum or on game day at Mon County Ballpark. Admission for WVU students is free with a valid student I.D.

It is also faculty/staff appreciation night. With a WVU ID, faculty and staff can purchase tickets for just $3 on game day. Additionally, all fans can play baseball bingo.

Fresh off a weekend series win over No. 19 Texas, the Mountaineers (22-19) won three of their last four and six of their last eight. WVU has won back-to-back weekend series and is ranked No. 34 in the NCAA RPI and has the No. 2 strength of schedule in the nation.

The Mountaineers rank among the NCAA and Big 12 leaders in several categories. WVU leads the Big 12 and is No. 20 nationally with 72 stolen bases, while WVU is No. 3 in the league and No. 18 in the country with 15 triples and No. 3 in the Big 12 and No. 23 in the NCAA with 40 double plays turned.

Individually, Darius Hill averages 17.5 at-bats per strikeout, a ratio that is No. 10 in the country. Braden Zarbnisky’s 0.97 walks per game are No. 11 in the NCAA, while he is No. 15 nationally with 0.59 stolen bases per game. Marques Inman also leads the Big 12 and is No. 14 in the country with 0.43 doubles per game.

The Terrapins (19-24) have won two in a row and three of their last four after a series win at Michigan State.

Today’s contest comes a year after WVU and Maryland met in the NCAA tournament. In the Winston-Salem Regional, the Mountaineers posted a 9-1 win June 2, in the tournament opener. The Mountaineers followed with an 8-5 victory June 4 to advance to the regional final.

Junior right-hander Christian Young (2-1, 6.66 ERA) will make his second start of the season for the Mountaineers. He will face redshirt-freshman lefty Billy Phillips (1-0, 6.75), who also makes his second start.

Track and field

Four Mountaineers hold the top spot in their respective events in this week’s United States Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) regional rankings.

Redshirt senior Amy Cashin tops the region in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, while redshirt senior Maggie Drazba continues to sit atop the region in the 10,000 meters. Two Mountaineers also rank No. 1 in field events, as redshirt junior Madelin Gardner owns the region’s best mark in the pole vault, while junior Danique Bryan is the regional leader in the triple jump.

In all, eight Mountaineers are featured in seven events this week’s regional index, which lists the season’s top-eight performances in each event.

The Werribee, Victoria, Australia, native also ranks sixth in the Mid-Atlantic in the 1,500 meters after her time of 4:20.29 at the Virginia Challenge on April 21, which sits No. 2 in the Big 12 this season.

As a team, WVU ranks No. 6 in the Mid-Atlantic Region this week, the team’s highest ranking of the 2017-18 outdoor campaign.

The Mountaineers close the outdoor regular season at the Billy Hayes Invitational on Friday, in Bloomington, Ind.

Following a record-breaking performance and a pair of victories, Cashin was also named the WVU Student-Athlete of the Week.

Last week, Cashin won the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at the prestigious Penn Relays, in Philadelphia, breaking the school record along the way. Cashin finished in 9:59.40, becoming the first Mountaineer to ever break the 10-minute barrier in the event. The Werribee, Victoria, Australia, native took down her previous WVU-best time of 10:01.19 from 2017.

The performance was good for the fourth-fastest in Penn Relays history and is the fastest in the Big 12 Conference and Mid-Atlantic Region this season.

Two days later, Cashin won her second event of the week, placing first in the women’s 1,500 meters at the Virginia Grand Prix in Charlottesville, Va. Cashin earned a time of 4:21.56 in the victory.

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