GBN’s regular season awards after WVU sweeps K-State – The Gold and Blue Nation Podcast
Eight WVU baseball players were selected as All-Big 12 honorees, the league announced Tuesday.
Right fielder Austin Davis and closer Trey Braithwaite headlined the Mountaineers’ showing on the lists as First Team honorees. Davis led WVU with 72 hits and a .336 batting average from the leadoff spot, including a .382 average in league play. Braithwaite recorded eight saves, including seven against Big 12 teams, with an 0.86 ERA in the league and 1.54 overall.
McGwire Holbrook is WVU’s sole representative on the second team as a designated hitter after finishing the regular season hitting .325 with a team-high .925 OPS and a second-best 42 RBIs. Pitchers Ben Hampton, Jacob Watters, Noah Short and infielder JJ Wetherholt all received honorable mentions.
Wetherholt and pitcher Chris Sleeper each represent WVU on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. Sleeper opened the season as part of the starting rotation, but became one of Randy Mazey’s most reliable arms out of the bullpen and ended with a 3.61 ERA and a 3-4 record. Wetherholt was WVU’s No. 2 hitter throughout the regular season and hit .308 with 36 runs batted in.
First baseman Ivan Melendez was named the league’s Player of the Year. The former 18th-round draft pick currently leads the nation with 28 home runs and a 1.472 OPS, knocking 14 homers in Big 12 play alone. Brandon Birdsell is the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year with a 5-2 record, a 3.26 ERA and 53 strikeouts.
First-year TCU coach Kirk Saarloos earned Coach of the Year honors after leading the Horned Frogs to their second consecutive regular season title. He became the first coach to win the league in his first season at the helm, while tying the Division I lead among first-year coaches with 35 wins.
The Big 12 Tournament begins Wednesday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. 6-seed West Virginia’s first-round matchup is set for 8:30 p.m. ET against Oklahoma.