With freshman outfielder Bobby Boyd and local favorite Matt Frazer leading the way, the West Virginia University baseball team returns to Charleston tonight to face Morehead State in a 6 p.m. game at Appalachian Power Park.
Boyd, from Silver Spring, Md., brings a team-high .329 batting average and 10 stolen bases to the annual Charleston appearance by the Mountaineers. Frazer, a 6-foot-5 redshirt sophomore outfielder who played his high school ball at Nitro, is hitting .318 and leads WVU with a .406 on-base percentage.
"It's always one of the highlights of our season to play in the state capital and at Power Park," coach Greg Van Zant said. "It gives college baseball fans in the southern part of the state a chance to see us play. Our players and coaches are very excited about the opportunity to play there."
WVU (11-15) was swept in three games at home by Connecticut in last weekend's Big East season-opening series.
Boyd batted .417 (5-for-12) in three games against Connecticut with two runs, one double, one walk and one stolen base. Frazer was 4-for-11 over the weekend with two doubles and two RBIs, while sophomore first baseman Ryan McBroom, freshman designated hitter Tyler Steele-Worsham and junior outfielder Brady Wilson all added home runs.
As a team, WVU is batting .244, while the pitching staff has a 6.94 earned-run average in 218 innings with 140 strikeouts.
Morehead State comes in with a 13-11 record and opened conference play last weekend at Murray State, winning two after falling in the series opener.
"They're very well coached and this is the best ball club they have had in awhile," Van Zant said of the Eagles. "They've already won more games now than all of last year and their offensive numbers are very impressive. It will be a big challenge for us."
Morehead State is led at the plate by Andrew Deeds, who is hitting .442 with seven doubles, one triple, two home runs and 16 RBIs. Chase Greenwell is batting .371 with 12 doubles, one triple and 13 RBIs, while Taylor Pickens is batting .350 with three doubles, one triple, two home runs and 11 RBIs.
The Eagles are hitting .308 as a team and the pitching staff has a 6.74 ERA.
Left-hander Garrick Whittle will take the hill for Morehead State. Whittle (0-2) has a 9.64 ERA in three starts. He has allowed 13 runs in 91/3 innings with 17 walks and eight strikeouts.
Tickets purchased the day of the game will be $7 for general admission and $9 for box seats. Gates open at 5 p.m.
This is the fourth consecutive season the Mountaineers have played at Appalachian Power Park. Last year, Morehead State defeated WVU 6-5 in a come-from-behind win.