In true baseball fashion, West Virginia’s season ended Sunday afternoon in the wake of one of its most impressive showings of the year.
No. 1 Kentucky eliminated No. 2 WVU in a 10-0 shutout at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington. The Mountaineers went scoreless for the first time all season.
“Once the emotion of today dies down, I think these guys will realize, and a lot of people will realize, that this was one of the best seasons any [WVU] team has put together,” Mazey said.
Grant Siegel made his first start on the mound since early April on Sunday for WVU. Siegel faced trouble early when he hit the leadoff man with a pitch, allowed a double, and surrendered two runs in the first inning. Kentucky scored another run off a nearly-identical sequence in the second inning, and Mazey went to the bullpen with WVU trailing 3-0 in the second.
Lefty Maxx Yehl completed the inning, and then worked a scoreless third frame.
Mazey opted for closer Carlson Reed second out of the bullpen, but Kentucky was not phased by the righty flamethrower. The Wildcats tagged Reed for three runs (two earned) off two hits in 1.1 innings of work. By the time Reed exited, Kentucky held a 6-0 lead.
“To go into this season when [our] Friday starter and [our] Saturday starter both throw 84 miles-an-hour, and [we] don’t really know who [our] Sunday guy is, or who [our] midweek guy is, to just keep winning and winning, and winning is why I say we overachieved instead of underachieved,” Mazey said.
Kentucky scored in six of their eight home innings Sunday en route to a 10-0 victory. In WVU’s two losses in the Lexington Regional, they went 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position.
To nobody’s surprise, Big 12 Player of the Year JJ Wetherholt was the largest offensive presence for WVU. Wetherholt hit safely three times, going 3-for-4 with a double. He finishes the season with a .449 batting average after going 7-for-13 in the Lexington Regional.
With the three-hit showing, Wetherholt eclipses 100 hits on the year with 101. That total also ties the single-season record set by Tyler Kuhn in 2008.
“[Wetherholt is] a guy that I feel is deserving of the Golden Spikes [Award],” Mazey said. “[It] was the best season I’ve ever seen by a single player, but beyond that, the type of teammate he is, the type of leader he is, what he does off the field [are] equally impressive as to what he does on the field. I’ve never been a part of a season like that, so kudos to JJ for being a Mountaineer.”
One of the most poignant moments of the afternoon came in the ninth inning when Mazey cleared his bench with four-straight pinch hitters in the ninth inning down 10-0. Freshman outfielder Skylar King delivered a single in his 22nd at-bat of the season.
The Mountaineers finish the season with a 40-20 record, which ties the program-record in single-season wins. Randy Mazey corralled 40 wins for just the second time in his head coaching career.