MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- The start of this week's Big 12 baseball tournament in Oklahoma City was pushed back from today to Thursday and the format was changed from double-elimination to round robin pool play.
Following Monday's deadly tornado nearby, the league's athletic directors and baseball coaches agreed to the changes, which will feature a pair of four-team pools. Teams will play one game Thursday, Friday and Saturday in their pools. The pool winners advance to Sunday's championship game.
The games will still be played at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
"I've never been through this before, so it's hard for me to comment whether I like it or not," West Virginia Coach Randy Mazey said. "Maybe I can when we get through it."
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said there was thought given to canceling the tournament, but that the Big 12 was encouraged by Oklahoma City leaders to play.
"We believe the tournament can serve as a testament to the strong Oklahoma spirit and to the resiliency of the Oklahoma people," Bowlsby said.
WVU is the No. 4 seed.
The Mountaineers (31-25, 13-11 Big 12) play Thursday against No. 6 seed Kansas, Friday against No. 8 seed TCU and Saturday against No. 2 seed Oklahoma State. Every game is 5 p.m. and will be televised by Fox College Sports Central.
"We didn't want to be hitting balls and playing baseball while families were still looking for loved ones," Mazey said. "I'm in complete agreement with everything decided by the Big 12, the conference athletic directors and coaches and the people of Oklahoma City."