MORGANTOWN - Late this afternoon, at what is certainly one of the few perfectly-manicured patches of land still remaining in the Oklahoma City, Okla. area, West Virginia's baseball team will get back to the business at hand.
The Mountaineers will continue their rather storybook season. A team that was unanimously picked to finish dead last in the Big 12 in its inaugural season begins play in the conference tournament at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark as the No. 3 seed.
It does so with the best pitcher in the Big 12 and one of the best in the country, Harrison Musgrave. It is led by a coach, Randy Mazey, who almost unfathomably was not selected as the Big 12 coach of the year, but has turned in one of the best coaching jobs in the country.
An NCAA tournament invitation is on the line, which would be WVU's first in 17 years. Hopes are not only high, but realistic. The Mountaineers' first game today, at 5 p.m. against Kansas, will be televised live by Root Sports Pittsburgh.
It's all pretty heady stuff, really. Consider this: A team that was seldom very good in a league that wasn't very good, the Big East, has become one of the best teams in one of the best leagues in the country, the Big 12.
And yet despite all of that, baseball has become almost secondary this week to the West Virginia baseball team.
Tournament? What tournament?
"I think 20 years from now, when they look back on their college baseball careers and to the tournament they played out in Oklahoma City, I doubt they're going to remember the games at all,'' Mazey said. "They're going to remember what they did for these families and the impact that we've had on people's lives.''
Indeed, if there is anything more remarkable than what these Mountaineers have accomplished as a baseball team this year - they go into this week's Big 12 tournament with a 31-25 record and seeded behind only Kansas State and Oklahoma State - it is what they have accomplished this week.