MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — When West Virginia University baseball players and coaches wake up Monday morning, just 25 days will separate them from Opening Day of the 2023 regular season.
As is customary, West Virginia will begin the season on the road, and won’t play at home until 19 days later when the Mountaineers host Canisius on March 8.
Playing in one of the country’s top baseball conferences, another difficult schedule awaits Randy Mazey’s club. Here’s a breakdown of the schedule, and the opponents WVU will play.
Key dates to remember
- Regular season opener: Friday, Feb. 17 (at Ga. Southern)
- Home opener: Wednesday, March 8 (vs. Canisius)
- First home series: March 10-12 (vs. Minnesota)
- In-state battle: Tuesday, Mar 28 (vs. Marshall)
- First home Big 12 series: April 7-9 (vs. Kansas)
- Backyard Brawls: Wednesday, April 19 (away/neutral); Wednesday, May 3 (home); Wednesday, May 10 (away)
- Last home series: May 12-14 (vs. Texas Tech)
West Virginia will start the season by playing 10 straight games away from the friendly confines of Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark. Fifteen of WVU’s first 25 games of the year will be played in a city other than Morgantown.
WVU will play an even number of home and road conference games, facing four Big 12 teams in Morgantown and four more elsewhere. In all, West Virginia will play 31 road games and 24 home games.
Mountaineer fans gave great support to their baseball program last season. WVU ranked 31st in the country in attendance, averaging 2,275 fans per home game. That was the fifth-best mark in the Big 12.
Major League opportunities
West Virginia will once again take the field on multiple Major League Baseball playing surfaces this year. The Mountaineers are scheduled to face Pitt at PNC Park on Wednesday, April 19. WVU is 4-0 all-time inside the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Two months before that, West Virginia will play in a pro venue and face off against a pro team. On Monday, Feb. 27, Mazey’s club will take on the Arizona Diamondbacks at the D-Backs’ spring training site in an exhibition game. Arizona is owned by WVU alum Ken Kendrick. The 2016 season was the only other team WVU has scrimmaged the Diamondbacks.
Later in the year, the Big 12 Baseball Tournament makes its return to Globe Life Field, the home of the Texas Rangers. The conference tournament begins on May 24.
2022 Tournament teams
Eleven teams West Virginia will face this season made the NCAA Tournament last year. WVU strongly felt it should’ve been one of the teams in the tournament, too.
The Mountaineers start the year with four-consecutive games against Regional hosts – a three-game series at Georgia Southern, and a mid-week contest at Maryland. WVU will travel to two other Regional venues in the ’23 season during conference play, when it travels for weekend series at Oklahoma State and Texas.
Seven other NCAA Tournament teams are on the docket. In fact, eight of WVU’s first 11 games of the season will be played against postseason clubs.
Arizona, Canisius, Hofstra, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas Tech, and VCU are the other tournament teams on West Virginia’s schedule.
2023 Preseason ranked teams
Four opposing clubs on West Virginia’s 2023 slate will begin the year inside the D1Baseball.com Top 25.
Fifteenth-ranked TCU and twenty-fourth-ranked Texas Tech will pay a visit to Mon County Ballpark.
Meanwhile, ninth-ranked Oklahoma State, and No. 13 Maryland will host the Mountaineers at their home ballparks.
Two teams on West Virginia’s schedule appear there for the first time.
WVU’s trip to Tucson for a three-game series will mark the program’s first-ever matchup against Arizona.
One month later, Hofstra will make its first trip to Morgantown in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.