MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Big 12 Co-Champion West Virginia baseball team is set to kick off the 2023 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship on Wednesday against Texas Tech. First pitch between the third-seeded Mountaineers and sixth-seeded Red Raiders is set for 8:30 p.m.
The game will be available to watch on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and can also be heard on the Mountaineer Sports Network baseball radio network, including the flagship station 100.9 Jack FM in Morgantown, and on the Varsity Network app. Andrew Caridi will bring you all the play-by-action with analysis from Jake Weghorst.
The winner of the game on Wednesday will play the winner of the No. 2 Oklahoma State-No. 7 Oklahoma game on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. while the losers will play on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
The Big 12 regular-season title for WVU was the first in program history and first conference championship since winning the Big East in 1996.
WVU (33-20) is 15-16 all-time at the Big 12 Championship. The Mountaineers have won multiple games at the event in six of the last nine tournaments, including five of the last six.
Sophomore JJ Wetherholt was named Big 12 Player of the Year on Tuesday as he currently leads the league in batting (.447), hits (92), runs (65), slugging (.786), and stolen bases (35) while also leading the Mountaineers with 15 home runs, 56 RBI, 21 doubles, and a .510 on-base percentage.
Head coach Randy Mazey was named Big 12 Coach of the Year after leading the team to a 39-16 overall record and a Big 12 title. In the preseason poll, West Virginia was picked to finish sixth.
The Mountaineers had three All-Big 12 First Team members, led by unanimous selection Wetehrholt and joined by junior pitchers Ben Hampton and Carlson Reed. Junior outfielders Braden Barry and Landon Wallace as well as graduate pitcher Blaine Traxel earned spots on the All-Big 12 Second Team.
WVU also had seven players earn All-Big 12 Honorable Mention status including redshirt-freshman pitcher David Hagaman, sophomore first baseman Grant Hussey, graduate catcher Dayne Leonard, sophomore pitcher Aidan Major, redshirt-senior outfielder Caleb McNeely, freshman catcher Logan Sauve, and graduate shortstop Tevin Tucker.
Led by 11th-year head coach Tim Tadlock, Texas Tech went 37-19 and 12-12 in Big 12 action to finish sixth.
Texas Tech is one of the best offensive teams in the country as they are top 20 in hitting, scoring, doubles, triples, OBP, slugging, walks, and sacrifice flies.
Gavin Kash and Kevin Bazell were each named to the All-Big 12 First Team while Nolan Hester and Mason Molina found spots on the All-Big 12 Second Team.
Bazell leads the team with a .367 batting average while Kash leads the Big 12 with 23 home runs and 79 RBI.
Molina has made 14 starts and owns a 4-2 record with a 3.91 ERA and 92 strikeouts. Brandon Beckel has five saves and a 1.79 ERA in 19 relief appearances.