For the second year in a row, a former Mountaineer will take the bump to open the Major League Baseball season.
The Baltimore Orioles announced Thursday that John Means will be their Opening Day starter when they start their 2022 campaign, which begins against the Rays in Tampa Bay on April 8. This is the second straight season in which manager Brandon Hyde has tapped on Means to open the season.
Means has emerged as Baltimore’s ace since breaking into the big leagues late in 2018. He was an All-Star selection as a rookie in 2019, and placed second in Rookie of the Year voting after recording a 12-11 record and a 3.60 ERA.
The Kansan made history on May 5, 2021 when he threw the first individual no-hitter for the Orioles since 1969, falling just a dropped third strike short of a perfect game to top the Mariners. Soon after, he suffered an injury that forced him to miss more than a month of the season.
Later that year, however, he again made history on Oct. 2 when he faced off against fellow former WVU star Alek Manoah, who competed in his rookie season for the Blue Jays. Manoah’s squad topped Means and the Orioles 10-1 — Means lasted just three innings and gave up six runs on seven hits (including a trio of home runs) while Manoah tossed seven frames of 1-hit, 1-run baseball.
Means has made 63 starts in his career, which spans across four seasons for the Orioles, and he has compiled a 20-24 record and a 3.82 ERA. He played two seasons for the Mountaineers, racking up a 10-6 record and a 4.26 ERA in 25 starts.