NCAA Tournament Preview The Gold and Blue Nation Podcast

Both WVU basketball programs are going dancing, but what does their path to the Sweet 16 and beyond look like? Nick Farrell and Sam Coniglio discuss in our NCAA Tournament primer. Plus, a final word from Sam in his final podcast with Gold and Blue Nation. 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The 2023 college baseball season has finally arrived.

After being left on the outside looking in at the NCAA Tournament field last spring, the Mountaineers are back for what they hope is another run to the national tournament.

Here’s everything you need to know about Randy Mazey and company’s first three games of the 2023 regular season.

West Virginia at Georgia Southern series information

  • Dates: Feb. 17-19
  • Location: J.I. Clements Stadium in Statesboro, Georgia
  • WVU 2022 overall record: 33-22 (14-10 Big 12)
  • WVU’s 2022 road record: 12-12
  • Georgia Southern 2022 overall record: 41-20
  • Georgia Southern 2022 home record: 24-6
  • All-time series: Georgia Southern leads 17-8
  • Last meeting: Georgia Southern defeated WVU 3-1 on Feb 23, 2019.

Game one — Friday, Feb. 17 (Opening Day)

  • Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Stream: ESPN+
  • Radio: Mountaineer Sports Network
  • WVU probable starter: LHP Ben Hampton (8-5, 4.66 ERA in 2022)
  • Georgia Southern probable starter: LHP Ty Fisher (6-2, 2.58 ERA in 2022)
  • WVU’s Friday record: 0-0

Game two — Friday, Feb. 18

  • Time: 2:00 p.m. ET
  • Stream: ESPN+
  • Radio: The Mountaineer Sports Network
  • WVU probable starter: RHP Blaine Traxel (7-4, 3.00 ERA in 2022)
  • Georgia Southern probable starter: RHP Ben Johnson (5-3, 4.15 ERA)
  • WVU’s Friday record: 0-0

Game three — Saturday, Feb. 19

  • Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
  • Stream: ESPN+
  • Radio: Mountaineer Sports Network
  • WVU probable starter: TBA
  • Georgia Southern probable starter: RHP Zachary Harris (Freshman)
  • WVU Saturday record: 0-0

WVU at Georgia Southern series preview

It’s a brand-new season; a blank slate for the Old Gold and Blue.

West Virginia begins its 2023 campaign taking on a Georgia Southern team that hosted an NCAA Regional last season.

Dayne Leonard, West Virginia’s top hitter from a season ago in terms of average, returns for his second season with the club. Also returning for a second year is sophomore infielder JJ Wetherholt. Both hit above .300 last year, with Leonard finishing the season by hitting at a .331 clip.

Ben Hampton, coming off an impressive summer in the Cape Cod League, is expected to be West Virginia’s top pitcher on the mound this season.

A quartet of Georgia Southern players earned preseason recognition from, including Noah Ledford, who was named the 12th-best first baseman in the country by the site. Ledford is this year’s Sun Belt Preseason Player of the year, and received two All-American nods last year after tallying career-highs in average (.348) runs (47), hits (79), doubles (19), home runs (17), and RBI (70).

The Eagles were picked to finish in a tie for second place in the Sun Belt Conference preseason poll. The Sun Belt produced four NCAA Tournament last year, including Georgia Southern.

Meanwhile, WVU is picked to finish in the middle-third of the nine-team Big 12 Conference.