MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — To put it simply, West Virginia right-hander Ben Hampton had a pretty good summer in the Cape Cod League.

“Ben having a pretty good summer is completely overstating the obvious,” Mountaineer skipper Randy Mazey said Wednesday.

Let’s try that again. Hampton had a really good summer pitching in college baseball’s premiere summer league in the country.

“He led the Cape Cod in strikeouts, which is hard to do,” Mazey continued. “That’s on a pretty elite list of people.”

Hampton recorded 49 strikeouts, allowing just 32 hits and 12 runs, across 42 2/3 innings against some of the best hitters that college baseball has to offer nationwide. He made history with his nine-inning no-hitter in relief and was named a Cape Cod League All-Star.

That came after he was West Virginia’s top starting pitcher in the spring. The sophomore righty pitched to an 8-5 record through 83 innings pitched. He tallied 90 punchouts against just 27 walks, and allowed three or fewer earned runs in 10 of his 15 starts.

After an All-Big 12 honorable mention season, and a standout summer in the northeast, expectations are mounting on the now-junior right-hander.

“We’re expecting good things from him this year. If people progress the way they’re supposed to, then he should have a better year than [2022],” said Mazey. “But that’s hard to do, as you know, in this league. Yeah, he’s going to be a guy that every time he toes the rubber, the Mountaineers are going to have a chance to win.”

Those expectations aren’t just based out of Morgantown.

Hampton, who twice earned preseason All-American honorable mention status as a high schooler, was recently rated as the 81st-best starting pitcher in all of college baseball heading into this season by With 293 teams making up the Division I level of the sport, that puts him 81st out of nearly 1,500 pitchers assuming each team only uses five starters throughout the year (which they won’t).

While D1Baseball categorizes Hampton that way, Perfect Game named him to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team last month.

Mazey expects Hampton to pace a pitching staff that he feels is, “talented and deep.” The Wisconsin native consistently gave the Mountaineers a chance to win when he took the mound.

That’s where the expectations begin for Hampton in 2023. While Mazey isn’t counting on any of his pitchers having the type of season Alek Manoah had in 2019, Hampton is the most likely candidate to do so, and the one with the most experience to lean on.