WVU moves up to No. 17
MORGANTOWN — Junior right-handed pitcher Alek Manoah has earned his fourth Big 12 Pitcher of the Week accolade, as the No. 17 West Virginia University baseball team moved up in the national rankings.
Manoah is the fourth player in Big 12 history to earn four Pitcher of the Week honors in the same season, a list that also includes former Mountaineer Harrison Musgrave, in 2013.
In WVU’s 6-0 shutout victory at Kansas State on May 10, Manoah struck out 13 batters and held K-State to three hits with one walk in 8.0 innings. He recorded double-digit strikeouts for the sixth time and pitched 8.0 or more shutout innings for the fourth time in his last six starts. Manoah threw just 102 pitches in the win and was the only Big 12 pitcher last week to not allow a run in more than 6.1 innings pitched, while his 13 strikeouts led the league.
Manoah has 121 strikeouts on the season, second-most in program history and two shy of tying John Radosevich’s record of 123, set in 1964. Additionally, he has 226 career strikeouts, tied for 10th-most in the WVU record books with Jerry Meadows (1965-67).
Additionally, the Mountaineers are ranked for the fifth consecutive week and move up in all six national polls.
WVU checks in as high as No. 17 in this week’s Perfect Game ranking. West Virginia is No. 19 in the Baseball America top-25, No. 20 in the NCBWA poll, No. 21 in the D1Baseball top-25 and the Coaches Poll and No. 26 in this week’s Collegiate Baseball rankings. Additionally, WVU is No. 17 in the latest NCAA RPI.
West Virginia’s No. 17 ranking, which it has had for three weeks this season, is its highest since 1982, when the Mountaineers finished the 1982 season No. 16 in the final Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll. WVU is ranked for more than two weeks in a season for the first time in seventh-year coach Randy Mazey’s tenure.
The Mountaineers’ appearance in this week’s polls is the eighth time they have been ranked since 1982, with all eight appearances, five times in 2019, twice in 2017 and once in 2018, coming under Mazey.
WVU is one of four Big 12 Conference teams ranked in at least one national poll this week.
Statistically, the West Virginia pitching staff is No. 9 nationally in hits allowed per nine innings (7.34), No. 11 in strikeouts per nine innings (10.0), No. 16 in shutouts (5), No. 23 in WHIP (1.28) and No. 25 in ERA (3.62). WVU also is second in the league in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.43). Additionally, the Mountaineers’ 82 stolen bases are No. 32 in the country and the most in the Big 12.
Manoah ranks No. 6 nationally with 121 strikeouts, No. 13 in WHIP (0.89), No. 22 in ERA (1.89), No. 23 in hits allowed per nine innings (5.86), No. 29 in strikeouts per nine innings (12.01) and complete games (2) and No. 30 in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.50). Manoah also leads the Big 12 with seven victories and has 11 quality starts in 14 starts.
Junior right-hander Sam Kessler has eight saves, which is second-most in the Big 12 and tied for No. 2 in a single season in program history. Junior center fielder Brandon White also is second in the league with 22 stolen bases. Senior right fielder Darius Hill, who owns the West Virginia record for games played, with 124, is third in the Big 12 with 17 doubles in 2019. Sophomore second baseman Tyler Doanes also is third in the conference in stolen bases (17), and freshman shortstop Tevin Tucker is third in sacrifice bunts (8).
Up next, West Virginia returns to PNC Park today for a Backyard Brawl matchup against Pitt, with first pitch set for 6 p.m. ET, in Pittsburgh.
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