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WVU Baseball Left Out of Preseason Top 25 Polls



JJ Whetherholt and umpire

With less than a month to go before WVU Baseball kicks off their 2024 season against Stetson on February 16, the first wave of preseason Top 25 polls have started to filter out… and despite coming off their best season in program history, the Mountaineers are a notable exception from the rankings.

Of the six major college baseball polls, both D1 Baseball and Perfect Game left the Mountaineers, reigning regular season co-champions of the Big 12, out of their poll. Baseball America, the NCBWA, Collegiate Baseball and the USA Today Coaches Poll have yet to release their first rankings for 2024—although none of them included West Virginia in their 2023 year-end poll. The Mountaineers climbed as high as No. 6 last season before sputtering to the finish, losing four of five games in the Big 12 and NCAA Tournaments.

WVU Baseball Receives Rings for 2023 Big 12 Championship Season

The slight could understandably leave the Mountaineers with a chip on their shoulder as they head into their last season with second baseman JJ Wetherholt, a 2023 First-Team All-American and the Big 12 Player of the Year, on the roster, but it isn’t entirely unwarranted.

New-Look Roster

WVU Baseball will look quite a bit different this year—their last under head coach Randy Mazey—as their two weekend rotation mainstays, Ben Hampton and Blaine Traxel, left the program via the transfer portal and graduation. They never managed to fill the third spot permanently in 2023, alternating between Grant Siegel, Robby Porco and Carson Estridge down the stretch. The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Carlson Reed, creating another spot the Mountaineers need to fill.

Randy Mazey to Retire After 2024 Season, Succession Plan for WVU in Place

Graduate transfer Hambleton Oliver, formerly of Baylor, will help address the starting pitching opening, but there are still a number of question marks surrounding the young rotation.

Off the mound, the Mountaineers return roughly half their starters from last year, with Wetherholt, a likely lottery pick, set to star along with Sam White, Grant Hussey, Ellis Garcia and Logan Sauve.

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