The fight continued for the WVU baseball team. Unfortunately, the Mountaineers just had to run out of steam.
On Sunday in Oklahoma City, the magic run for West Virginia came to an end in the Big 12 Tournament championship game against TCU. The Mountaineers did not bow out easily, though.
Although the Horned Frogs jumped out to an early 8-0 lead, the WVU baseball team slowly chipped away and eventually took a 10-9 lead.
The Mountaineers held the advantage from the bottom of the fifth inning until the top of the ninth inning. In extras, TCU got a run when needed as freshman Luken Baker belted a solo home run which proved to be the decisive run in an 11-10 victory.
The Mountaineers could have packed it up and gone back to Morgantown early, but they chose to fight and didn’t back down against the Horned Frogs, who had beaten WVU three previous times in the regular season.
"“This is a team that hasn’t given up,” said WVU coach Randy Mazey. “As a coach you say that all the time. You encourage them to never give up. To have a team that actually never gives up, that’s a fun team to coach. I’d hate to stop coaching these guys. I’d hate for the season to end just on the sole reason I love being around them. It’s a great character group, a great chemistry group. They’re a bunch of great baseball players. They’re fun to be around. I would hate for it to stop now.”"
Hopefully, this is not the end of the road for this scrappy group of Mountaineers.
However, the team must wait to hear its NCAA Tournament fate. An announcement of the tournament field will come on Monday. Had West Virginia defeated TCU on Sunday, it would have already punched its ticket to the baseball version of the big dance.
The Mountaineers still have a chance to score an at-large bid to the tournament. But their chances are limited.
Now, the team has had an amazing run at the end of the regular season, even before winning three games in the Big 12 Tournament. In fact, the Mountaineers were the only Big 12 team to not lose a game in the tournament, until the championship game.
West Virginia’s selection to the tournament will come based on its RPI rating, which many reports indicate is in the 60s. There simply is not enough spots for the Mountaineers to make it if the committee solely looks off that mark.
Still, if the NCAA wants the best teams in the tournament, West Virginia is worth a look. The Mountaineers played their best baseball at the right time. Even in a loss, Sunday’s game against TCU showed exactly what this squad is made of.
That grit and determination is worth a shot to win it all in the College World Series.