MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Despite being just a true freshman, West Virginia coach Randy Mazey said the Mountaineers will be relying on Matt McCormick’s bat to power the offense this season.
Mazey slots McCormick into the three-spot in WVU’s batting order right between All-Big 12 Preseason Team selections Tyler Doanes and Paul McIntosh. It has been so far so good for the freshman. He has gone 6-16 in the team’s first four games with three RBI and four walks. This includes Tuesday’s game against Canisius in which he collected four hits, including a solo home run, and three RBI.
Mazey said McCormick performing well would be a big boost to WVU’s offense this season.
“Having Matt McCormick starting to swing the bat well is really going to help us down the stretch,” Mazey said. “(If) we get him and McIntosh cooking at the same time we’ve got a chance to drive some runs in.”
Mazey said McCormick, an Orland Park, Illinois native already has a lot of the tools required to be successful.
“He’s super calm in there, he never gets rattled, he doesn’t chase bad pitches, he takes a lot of walks.”
McCormick hit .419 with nine home runs and 51 RBI as a senior at St. Laurence High School and was highly regarded enough as a prospect to be drafted in the 40th round of the MLB draft by the Cincinnati Reds.
Batting behind Braden Zarbnisky and Doanes in the lineup puts McCormick in a prime position to drive in runs this season. Zarbnisky has a career .387 on-base percentage, and he has already reached base 11 times in the team’s first four games. Doanes has a career .401 OPB, and lead the team with 21 doubles in 2019.
McCormick will play a lot of game this season as either the first baseman or designated hitter, but Mazey said developing him as a catcher, where he played Tuesday, will be very important.
“We needed to get him some catching experience,” Mazey said. “He caught really good tonight, which was super beneficial to us moving forward in case that needs to show up again. He was my player of the game, not just because of what he did on offense, but what he did on defense too.”
The team now travels to Myrtle Beach, SC this weekend to play four games in the Brittain Resorts Invitational.