Nathan Blasick likely isn’t the name WVU fans search for in the box score after Mountaineer baseball games, but he has worked himself into one of the most important roles on the roster.
The sophomore saw action in 36 games as a freshman in 2021 and made the most of his limited time on the diamond. He finished the season with five home runs, the fourth-most on the team, and logged 14 RBIs on 17 hits. Blasick especially came alive at the end of the season, hitting four of his dingers in the month of May.
Despite that impressive rookie resume, Blasick didn’t know where he would fit in to the lineup before 2022 started. That’s even reflected on WVU’s roster — he’s listed as an infielder/reliever, even though he has made just one start in the field this season and logged only two innings on the mound last season.
His value hasn’t gone to waste, however. On the contrary, Randy Mazey has tapped on Blasick’s bat in several key moments throughout the season — most recently putting him in the batter’s box against Baylor in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and two out.
“Usually, he’s in there with the game on the line, which he was [against Baylor],” Mazey said. “He’s done it before and got some really big hits for us.”
He didn’t need to swing the bat to earn the walk-off RBI in that game, but about a month earlier, he got a similar call with the Mountaineers down two runs against Ohio State. He knocked a single to score two runs, setting up a walk-off for Austin Davis on the next at-bat.
Blasick is in an important spot in WVU’s squad. Randy Mazey is not afraid to shake up his lineup mid-game, and does so on a regular basis.
And since West Virginia has often needed to complete comebacks for wins in 2022, Blasick’s one at-bat of the game could be the most important of an entire weekend.
“I kind of, at this point, expect it and am prepared for it, so when these situations come up I mentally prepare an inning or two beforehand and get a good look at the relief pitchers and kind of know what I’m going to see,” Blasick said. “I’m normally pretty comfortable in the box.”
The stats back up his claim — he is hitting .333 in games he doesn’t start, and he’s logged all seven of his RBIs as a pinch hitter, three of which have come in the ninth inning.
“I make the most of it,” Blasick said. “I’m here to help our team win and try to do anything I can.”