CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A blue-and-gold camouflage baseball jersey hangs in West Virginia University's dugout each game.
The uniform top, unveiled this offseason, was supposed to provide a constant reminder of the incentive that awaited players should they reach the Big 12 conference tournament. Even the number on the back of jersey is 12.
First-year Coach Randy Mazey promised his team it could finally don the new duds for the Big 12 tournament opener, a prize for avoiding the cellar in the program's inaugural season in the nine-team league.
Eight teams make the league tournament. The goal was simple and modest a year after the struggling program missed the Big East tournament.
After an unprecedented week in WVU baseball history culminated with the Mountaineers taking the final two games of a three-game series against No. 10 Oklahoma on Sunday at Appalachian Power Park, Mazey might have to sweeten the pot.
The first-place Mountaineers - picked to finish last in the Big 12 in the preseason - are flirting with grander ambitions.
"Nothing this team does surprises me now," Mazey said Sunday after WVU defeated the preseason Big 12 favorites, 9-6, to move into a tie for first with the Sooners.
"This team is capable of anything."
Saturday's win over Oklahoma was the Mountaineers' first over a top 10 team since 1999 ... and they repeated the act Sunday afternoon.
Two weekends ago, WVU took 2-of-3 from Big 12 stalwart Texas on the Longhorns' home field. Texas won national championships in 2002 and 2005 and can boast more regular season Big 12 titles (seven) than any other league program.
The Mountaineers followed that up by sweeping Kansas last weekend in Beckley. The Jayhawks have finished in the bottom half of the Big 12 standings the last three seasons, but don't scoff at the accomplishment. KU hasn't lost since, completing a sweep of defending regular season Big 12 champion Baylor on Sunday. Kansas is a half-game behind WVU and Oklahoma for first place.
The fervor around the Mountaineers' program grew this past week.
The largest crowd in Hawley Field history (2,535) watched WVU lose to Pitt, 7-6, on Tuesday.
Then on Friday, 3,279 people were at Appalachian Power Park to witness the Mountaineers lose to the Sooners in extra innings.
Never have more people come through the turnstiles to watch a WVU baseball game.
In the past six days (four games), 9,907 fans watched the resurgent WVU baseball program. That's more than last season's Mountaineers drew in 26 home games combined (8,475, an average of 325 per game).
"I try to tell the fans to not only come out for the entertainment value, but come because the energy helps the team win," Mazey said. "When we have good crowds, we play well.