MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Heading into this season, left field was one of the few positions on the diamond that was open for competition for West Virginia.
Braden Barry was one of multiple players vying for consistent playing time at the spot.
Having started 37 of the 46 games WVU has played this year in left, Barry has earned that starting spot on Randy Mazey’s lineup card.
While the sophomore has been spotless in the field, statistically, this season, he’s also been a solid everyday addition to the Mountaineer lineup.
Following his 1-for-4 day at the plate Tuesday against Pittsburgh, Barry is hitting for a .308 average on the year. That’s the fourth-best batting clip on the roster, and he ranks second on the team in slugging percentage (.508) and OPS (.911).
Recently, though, it’s been his power swing that has been helping the Mountaineers.
“I’m seeing the ball well. Been practicing a little bit in batting practice,” Barry said Tuesday night.
Barry has been hunting fastballs to hit as of late, and hit them he has. Over the last six games, Barry is hitting for a .353 average with six runs scored, six RBI, and three home runs.
That includes two longballs in the weekend series finale against Kansas as part of a five-homer day for the Mountaineers.
Most recently, he deposited a three-run home run over the fence in left field to help lead West Virginia to a 9-1 victory over Pitt in the Backyard Brawl.
With three of the four home runs he’s hit on the year coming over the last 10 days, it appears he’s heating up at the right time.
The second-year corner outfielder has recorded at least one hit in nine of the last 13 games played.
“It’s a good time to see the ball good,” said Barry.
West Virginia has just two weekend series remaining in the regular season. The Mountaineers travel to Norman, Oklahoma to take on the Sooners this weekend.
After that, WVU returns home to host Kansas State beginning on Thursday, May 19.
The Big 12 Baseball Championship begins on Wednesday, May 25.