The 11.7 scholarships can be spread out across up to 27 players and Van Zant said it's the best way to build up pitching depth. His WVU teams have been among the Big East's best - and sometimes the nation's best - hitting teams. The pitching has lagged.
"I think we've done extremely well with what we have the last few years finishing third, eighth and fourth in the conference," he said. "It's a severe financial disadvantage when you're trying to compete against these teams with the full amount of scholarships.
"When you don't have the full amount of scholarships, you can have a good team once in a while, but everything has to work out right. Now that we've been upgraded, it's going to take us some time to build our team up to where it has to be."
Van Zant said it was too late to make a recruiting splash for the most recent recruiting class. He said many of the most desired players were already off the board and he didn't want to sign players simply because he had the resources.
He said the impact will begin to be realized next season. By 2014, he'll have a team with mostly juniors and seniors, two classes with 11.7 scholarships and, ideally, will play in a new ballpark.
"Our two biggest problems hurting us have been not being fully funded and our facility," Van Zant said. "Our athletic director told us he's going to spend on scholarships and he's going to work on getting us a facility. I'm excited about this."
Van Zant, who is specifically grateful to Luck's predecessor, Ed Pastilong, for getting WVU into the Big East and making minor upgrades possible, is the first to admit Hawley Field needs help.
The lights have been upgraded and a batter's eye was erected in centerfield in recent years, but there is no changing area or clubhouse for home and visiting teams. Both dugouts need upgrades.
"The truth is we came into the Big East in 1996 and had a pretty decent Atlantic 10 facility and it was never really upgraded," Van Zant said. "Our facility right now ranks eighth or ninth in the (12-team) Big East and it would be dead last - and by far dead last - in the Big 12.
"We can be good in baseball and I think we have been good, but to be good where we're going, you've got to have a facility and you've got to have scholarships."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.