"Any coach in the world will tell you that's when you have a letdown - a game like that sandwiched between two emotional weekends," Mazey said. "These guys have found a way to win close games and to get up for games that, when you look at the schedule, you shouldn't really get up for."
Brock Dykxhoom (2-0, 0.89 ERA) starts tonight and Mazey will have his optimal rotation set up for the Sooners, beginning with the Big 12's hottest pitcher. Harrison Musgrave, a sophomore from Bridgeport who missed last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, is 7-1 with a 2.36 ERA, but has been on a tear that defies those numbers.
Twice already the Big 12 pitcher of the week, Musgrave is 4-0 with a 0.97 ERA in Big 12 games. No other starting pitcher has more conference wins.
The left-handed Musgrave is No. 3 with 36 strikeouts in Big 12 play and has the league's only two shutouts.
Those have come in back-to-back starts as part of a string of 26 straight scoreless innings.
"You try not to get caught up with the results," Mazey said. "The way we coach the kids is to be all about the process and if you do things right, the results will come. But it's pretty hard not to look at the results."
That's essentially the story of the season for WVU, a team at first burdened by the preseason prediction and later with a schedule that put just eight of 56 regular-season games on campus. Mazey, new to his job as WVU was new to the Big 12, had 15 first-year players and concerns about the pitching staff and his batting order.
He's used 34 different orders this season and he's shuffled his pitching rotation, but he never abandoned the goal to prove everyone wrong.
The struggle now is to not waver a little as the season gets closer to the end and the Mountaineers get closer to something completely unexpected.
"Originally when we started this thing, we were keeping close tabs on the teams in last place to make sure we finished ahead of someone," Mazey said.
"Now I'm guilty of keeping an eye on the first-place team to see if we can catch them. It's switched up a little bit on our end."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.