Baseball: WVU Welcomes No. 18 Louisville

  • By Grant Dovey
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  • May 04, 2012 02:54 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University baseball team begins a three-game conference series against No. 18 Louisville with a doubleheader on Saturday, May 5, at Hawley Field.

The first game begins at 2 p.m., while game two will begin 30 minutes after game one. First pitch on Sunday will be at 1 p.m.

The games will be video and audio streamed through MSNsportsNET.com, with Kyle Wiggs calling the play-by-play and Ernie Galusky providing color commentary. The games also will be carried by WAJR 1440-AM in Morgantown, while live stats are available via MSNsportsNET.com.

Saturday's game has been designated as a “Dollar Day,” with all tickets, hot dogs, popcorn and Coca-Colas available for $1 each.

WVU (17-27, 5-13 BIG EAST) is battling to get into the BIG EAST Tournament, as the Mountaineers currently sit in 11th place, trailing eighth-place Villanova by three games. Louisville (31-14, 12-6) is two games behind St. John’s for first place in the conference.

The WVU pitching staff is 12th in the BIG EAST with a 6.56 ERA while Louisville is first with a 3.28 ERA. The Louisville staff leads the league in strikeouts with 364.

Mountaineer coach Greg Van Zant has named sophomore right-hander Corey Walter (4-4, 4.74 ERA) as the game one starter. Walter is second in the BIG EAST with 74 innings pitched and is coming off a complete game loss to Seton Hall last Saturday. Walter allowed three runs on six hits with three strikeouts and three walks in the losing effort. Van Zant is unsure of the game two and game three starters.

The Cardinals will be starting a trio of right-handers in junior Justin Amlung (7-3, 2.27 ERA), sophomore Jeff Thompson (8-1, 3.32 ERA) and freshman Jared Ruxer (5-1, 2.59 ERA). Amlung is second in the BIG EAST in ERA (2.27), second in wins (7), first in innings pitched (75.1), third in strikeouts (75) and second in opposing batting average (.195). Thompson ranks first in wins (11), fifth in strikeouts (63) and eighth in opposing batting average (.238), while Ruxer is fourth in ERA (2.59) and sixth in opposing batting average (.233).

WVU ranks No. 12 in the BIG EAST with a .261 team batting average, and the Mountaineers have collected 22 homers and 36 steals in 52 attempts. In conference play, WVU ranks No. 6 with a .283 team batting average.

Freshman center fielder Bobby Boyd continues to lead the team with a .322 (46-for-143) batting average and has collected 30 runs, five doubles, one triple, two homers, 17 RBIs and 19 stolen bases. Boyd has the fifth-most stolen bases in the conference.

WVU sophomore left fielder/designated hitter Matt Frazer is hitting .310 with team highs of 19 doubles and five homers to go along with 26 RBIs. Sophomore first baseman Ryan McBroom is batting .309 with 13 doubles, five home runs and a team-leading 37 RBIs. McBroom is tied for sixth in the league race for RBIs.

Louisville is hitting .308 as a team (first in the BIG EAST) with 26 home runs and 72 steals in 89 attempts. The Cardinals are led at the plate by sophomore infielder Ty Young, who is hitting .360 with nine doubles, three triples, six homers and 34 RBIs. Junior second baseman Nick Ratajczak is batting .330 with 50 runs, nine doubles, one triple and 16 RBIs, while senior outfielder Stewart Iajmes is hitting .288 with 12 doubles, 10 home runs and 48 RBIs. Sophomore outfielder Adam Engel leads the team with 28 stolen bases in 29 attempts.