By Gary Fauber
Register-Herald Assistant Sports Editor
WVU Tech baseball coach Lawrence Nesselrodt will be happy to see March arrive.
“Not just for maybe warmer weather, but for a softer schedule,” Nesselrodt joked.
Going into this week, the Golden Bears were off to a cool 2-7 start, but that can be directly attributed to the schedule. The season started with a three-game series at Tennessee Wesleyan — the 2012 NAIA National Champions.
On Monday, things were just as challenging as WVU Tech made its first appearance at Linda K. Epling Stadium in Beckley. The Bears hosted a doubleheader against Point Park (Pa.), which finished fifth at the NAIA World Series last year and was No. 5 in preseason rankings for 2013.
Point Park left Beckley with a pair of victories, 9-0 and 7-5.
“We definitely have been challenged this season,” Nesselrodt said. “But our goal is to reach that level and I have always believed you have to play that type of competition to get there.”
Tech dropped its first six games before beating Ohio Valley 14-4 on Saturday. Right-hander pitcher Taylor Carter had a no-hitter through seven innings before giving up a double to start the eighth. Carter surrendered only that hit and had 16 strikeouts in the win.
Offensively, the Bears have gotten production out of their starting outfield.
Center fielder Kevin Bocock, the leadoff hitter, set a school record last season with 38 stolen bases. Left fielder Ryan Kessinger, who hits in the No. 2 hole, joined Bocock in recording three-hit game against Ohio Valley.
Right fielder Mark Culmer had a rare 7-for-7 day in a doubleheader sweep at the hands of Shawnee State last week.
Grant Williams, a member of the 2012 Prospect League Champion West Virginia Miners, provides versatility and leadership for the Bears. He has played eight of the nine positions in his Tech career, even getting a pitching win this season.
Tech, which split a doubleheader with USCAA foe Cincinnati Clermont on Sunday, will also play at Epling Stadium Tuesday, March 5, against Shawnee State and March 17 against Ohio University-Chillicothe.
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