MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia might well go into its final series of the Big 12 regular season without its pitching ace.
Harrison Musgrave, certainly one of the front-runners for the league's pitcher of the year award, won't start WVU's first game of a three-game set with Oklahoma State in Stillwater tonight. And he might not pitch at all.
"We'll decide on Friday if he's going to pitch at all,'' first-year coach Randy Mazey said.
It's not that this weekend's series isn't important. It is. The Mountaineers (30-23, 12-9 Big 12) are tied with Oklahoma for second place in the league behind Kansas State, which is 14-7 in conference play. The combination of results this weekend could give the Mountaineers the league's regular-season title in their first year in the Big 12.
But if by Friday it appears that the chances for a league title are out of reach, Mazey said he will keep Musgrave in reserve. The sophomore pitched a day late last week because of a rainout and the OSU series this week begins a day earlier than normal, which compromises Musgrave's rest.
"Harrison's been going this entire season every seven days,'' Mazey said. "He got pushed back a day [last week when a Friday game against TCU was moved to Saturday because of rain] and we're starting this series a day early.
"If it was just one day it wouldn't be a big deal, but two days is.''