Traxel Named Student-Athlete of the Week

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.  – Graduate student Blaine Traxel of the West Virginia University baseball team has been named the WVU Student-Athlete of the Week presented by University Apartments after throwing a complete game against Xavier over the weekend.
It was the fourth complete game of the season for Traxel, which leads the nation. He has thrown an NCAA-leading 49.0 innings this season while going 5-1 with 2.02 ERA and 38 strikeouts.
Against the Musketeers, Traxel struck out seven while allowing
just two runs. He needed just 109 pitches to get the job done on Saturday, the most efficient he has been in his four complete games this season.
For his career, Traxel has nine complete games, having thrown five at Cal State Northridge during his undergraduate career. The Burbank, California native is the active leader in the NCAA in innings pitched with 319.1, nearly 50 more than the next closest.
This Week: The Mountaineers play a midweek game against Marshall on Tuesday evening … first pitch against the Thundering Herd is set for 6:30 p.m. … WVU then heads to Kansas State over the weekend to open Big 12 play … first pitch on Friday is set for 7 p.m., Saturday for 5 p.m. and Sunday for 2 p.m.
Last Week: The Mountaineers went 3-2 at Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark, splitting with Hofstra before taking the weekend series from Xavier … WVU saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday against Pride, falling 4-2 … the Mountaineers managed to split the two-game set with a 6-5 win on Wednesday on a walk-off single from freshman Sam White … sophomore JJ Wetherholt gave the Mountaineers their second straight walk-off in the series opener against Xavier in a 5-4 win … graduate student Blaine Traxel threw his fourth complete game of the season on Saturday while Wetherholt went 4-for-5 with a home run in a 7-2 victory … Xavier salvaged the final game of the series, winning 8-3 on Sunday.
Notes: JJ Wetherholt hit .429 (9-for-21) with a home run, two doubles, five RBIs, six runs scored and six stolen bases … The walk-off win on Wednesday was the first for the Mountaineers since May 4, 2022 against Charleston (W. Va.) … the Mountaineers were hit by eight pitches in Wednesday’s win, the most for WVU in at least the last eight seasons … Traxel’s complete game on Saturday was his fourth of the season, which leads the nation … he is averaging 8.17 innings per start this season … Traxel is the first Big 12 pitcher since Ryan Cyr of Kansas in 2019 to have four complete games in a season … the last Big 12 pitchers with five complete games in one season were Frank Duncan of Kansas and Preston Morrison of TCU in 2014 … Taylor Bloom of Maryland is the last Power 5 pitcher with more than four complete games, doing so in 2016 … his four complete games would have led the American League last year and would have been only behind Sandy Alcantara’s six for most in the majors … Wetherholt is leading the Big 12 in hitting (.455), doubles (11), hits (45), stolen bases (23) and is in the top three in OBP (.529), slugging percentage (.768), total bases (76), and runs scored (30) … Wetherholt and junior Braden Barry became the first pair of Mountaineers to hit back-to-back home runs this season in Saturday’s victory.
This Week in Swimming & Diving: The Mountaineers are off this week.
Last Week in Swimming & Diving: Junior Danny Berlitz of the West Virginia University’s men’s swimming and diving team competed at the 2023 season at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on March 22-25, at the Jean K Freeman Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota …  on day one, Berlitz set a new program record in the 200 IM prelims, finishing with a time of 1:44.50 to place 42nd … in the 400 IM on day two, he finished in 19th with a time of 3:42.53, just shy of breaking the school record … on the final day, Berlitz added a personal best time of 1:55.70 in the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing in 37th.
Notes: With Berlitz’s swims last week, the men’s and women’s swimming teams concluded the 2022-23 season with seven team records, 48 all-time top 10 times and 73 lifetime best times.
This Week in Tennis: The West Virginia University women’s tennis team (11-6, 1-3 Big 12) travels to Oklahoma for a pair of dual matches on March 31 – April 2… starting off in Norman, WVU is set for a matchup against No. 21 Oklahoma, on Friday, March 31 at 6 p.m. ET … to conclude the road swing, the Mountaineers make their way to Stillwater to play No. 15 Oklahoma State, on Sunday, April 2, at 1 p.m.
Last Week in Tennis: The Mountaineers began their road trip in Waco, Texas on Friday, March 24, falling to No. 59 Baylor (11-10, 2-4 Big 12), 1-6, before falling to No. 14 Texas (14-3, 5-1 Big 12), 0-7, on Sunday in Austin … WVU dropped the doubles point during Friday’s competition against the Bears … during singles play, sophomore Michaela Kucharova claimed West Virginia’s only victory at No. 3 singles defeating Liubov Kostenko, 4-6, 6-4 (10-7) … redshirt freshman Maja Dodik, sophomore Tatiana Lipatova, fifth-year senior Pei-Ju Hsieh, sophomore Camilla Bossi and senior Ting-Pei Chang all suffered losses to Baylor … during Sunday’s competition against the Longhorns the Mountaineers fell behind, 1-0, after the Longhorns claimed the doubles point … during singles play, Texas went on a 6-0 run to clinch the match … Bossi, junior Momoko Nagato, Chang, Kucharova, Dodik and Lipatova all suffered losses in two sets to the Longhorns.
Notes: The Mountaineers are currently ranked No. 72, which marks the third week in a row ranked in the top 75 … Friday’s competition against the Sooners and Sunday’s competition against the Cowgirls marks the ninth matchup since both series began in 2013 … Oklahoma and Oklahoma State hold the all-time series record over the Mountaineers, 8-0 … during last year’s competition, WVU suffered a 0-7 loss to both schools.
This Week in Track and Field: Members of the WVU track and field team travel to Palo Alto, Calif., to compete in the Stanford Invitational hosted by Standford University from March 31-April 1.
Last Week in Track and Field: The West Virginia University track and field team wrapped up competition at the Raleigh Relays hosted by NC State in Raleigh, North Carolina, on March 25 at the Paul Derr Track and Field Facility … redshirt senior Hayley Jackson competed in the 800-meter and finished with a time of 2:06.96 to secure fifth in the event out of 123 runners … senior Tessa Constantine ran the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 1:01.81 … Sophomore Abigale Mullings recorded a jump of 1.62 meters in the high jump.
Notes: Jackson’s effort was good enough for her best time over 800 meters since she finished the event at the Mountaineer Twilight on April 30, 2022, in 2:05.92 … Saturday marked Constantine’s best performance since the 2022 Big 12 Conference Outdoor Championships when she finished in 1:00.01 … Friday marked Mullings’ best performance since she set her personal best of 1.72 meters at the 2023 Big 12 Conference Indoor Championships.
This Week in Gymnastics: WVU travels to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Friday, March 31, for the 2023 NCAA Gymnastics Pittsburgh Regional Championships … West Virginia, Michigan State, California and Western Michigan will compete in the first of two Second Round quad meets, beginning at 2 p.m. ET, inside the Petersen Events Center.
Last Week in Gymnastics: West Virginia was off last week.
Notes: The Mountaineers earned an automatic bye into the Second Round, bypassing the First Round play-in meet for the first time since 2019 … the bid marks the 43rd regional championships berth for the Mountaineers (12-9, 1-2 Big 12), their 38th in NCAA competition and the team’s eighth consecutive qualification … West Virginia has advanced to the NCAA National Championships three times (1995, 1999, 2000) since 1983 … the Mountaineers were selected to the 2023 NCAA Regional Gymnastics Championships based on their National Qualifying Score (NQS) of 196.515, the squad’s highest NQS in program history … West Virginia played host to the Big 12 Championship on March 18, inside the WVU Coliseum for just the third time in program history, as well as the second time in the past three years … the Mountaineers placed third at the conference meet with a 196.225 team score … in this week’s Road to Nationals rankings, the Mountaineers check in at No. 29 overall, as well as No. 19 on vault and floor exercise … WVU’s vault ranking marks its highest since Feb. 4, 2019, when it also ranked No. 19.
This Week in Golf: The Mountaineers continue play at The Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate in Awendaw, South Carolina, on Monday and Tuesday … three WVU golfers (Kurtis Grant, Trent Tipton and Todd Duncan) will compete at the Butler Spring Invitational on Monday and Tuesday in Indianapolis.
Last Week in Golf: Westy McCabe shot 4-under-par to lead the Mountaineers on the first day at The Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate at Bulls Bay Golf Club in Awendaw, South Carolina … McCabe recorded five birdies on the day to post a 68 in round one … he is tied for 14th place, just two shots off the lead … also in round one, junior Jackson Davenport shot Even par, while junior Oli Ménard was 1-over-par … junior Will Stakel posted a 77 during the first round … as a team, the Mountaineers are in 12th place at 2-over-par in the 15-team field.

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