MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – For the first time since 1996 and the 12th time in program history, the West Virginia University baseball team has earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
WVU will open NCAA action in the Winston-Salem Regional. Seeded second in the regional, the Mountaineers will face third-seeded Maryland on Friday, June 2, at 2 p.m. ET at the David F. Couch Ballpark in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. No. 1-seeded Wake Forest, ranked 14th nationally, and fourth-seeded UMBC round out the regional.
“West Virginia has never received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in 125 years of baseball,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “When an opportunity like that presents itself, it just doesn’t happen by accident. You’ve got to commit to it, take pride in it and work toward it. The first thing you’ve got to do is to make a decision that you want to do it. That’s what this team did. The proof is in the pudding that they made a decision to do this. Let that be a lesson to everybody out there that if you really want to do something special, you can.”
The Mountaineers earned an NCAA Regional berth after finishing 34-24 on the season and 12-12 in Big 12 play. In the No. 1 RPI conference in the country, West Virginia finished in fourth place and reached the Big 12 Championship semifinals. With a strength-of-schedule that ranks No. 18 nationally, WVU never lost more than two games in a row.
WVU is one of seven of the Big 12’s nine teams to earn a postseason berth.
Wake Forest will host the regional with a 39-18 record and 19-11 in ACC play. Maryland is seeded third with a 37-21 record and 15-9 in the Big Ten, while No. 4 UMBC (23-23, 11-9) won the America East Conference Tournament. The Mountaineers and Terrapins met earlier this season, a 7-6 Maryland win in College Park, Maryland, on April 11.
West Virginia will play its sixth NCAA Tournament in North Carolina and the first in Winston Salem. The other five came in Gastonia, North Carolina (1961, 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1967). The Mountaineers have never met Maryland or UMBC in the NCAA Tournament, while Wake Forest was WVU’s first NCAA Tournament opponent in 1955. Overall, Wake Forest owns a 5-1 record against the Mountaineers in NCAA games.
All-session tickets for games at David F. Couch Ballpark are on sale now for $78 and single-session tickets are available for $15 per ticket by visiting WakeForestSports.com. Ticket sales by phone will be available on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. by calling (336) 758-3322 ext. 2.
All of the Winston-Salem regional games will be televised on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.
Celebrating their 125th season in 2017, the Mountaineers will make their 12 NCAA Tournament appearance and it marks their first at-large berth as an at-large team. WVU is 8-22 all-time in postseason competition.