MORGANTOWN - Senior right fielder Darius Hill launched a walk-off, two-run home run to propel the No. 17 West Virginia University baseball team to a 6-5 win over TCU on Sunday afternoon at Monongalia County Ballpark.
The Mountaineers (28-17, 11-10 Big 12) scored three in the ninth inning and added two in the seventh to complete the comeback.
The rally came after the Horned Frogs (26-20, 8-10 Big 12) took a 4-1 lead into the seventh and added a run in the top of the ninth after West Virginia cut the deficit to one in the seventh.
The walk-off win was WVU's fourth in its last five home victories, while six of West Virginia's last seven victories have come with the game-winning run scoring in the ninth inning or later.
Hill's two-run home run, on a 3-2 pitch with two outs and a runner on first, came after junior third baseman Kevin Brophy hit a solo homer three batters earlier, which cut the Mountaineer deficit to one, at 5-4.
West Virginia had 10 hits in the ballgame, though six of them, and five of its six runs, came in the final three innings.
"You can see how good they are," WVU coach Randy Mazey said of TCU. "They have played almost flawlessly this weekend. They hit, they played defense and they pitched, and they played as good as they could. They are a really good team. It's as good of a team that is on our schedule, and their RPI was in the '90s coming up. It's just a little bit of a flaw in the system, but with that being said, if you lose home games to teams with bad RPIs you take a big hit. So that had a chance to knock us out of a lot of discussions if we had lost that game, but may the discussions continue at this point."
Hill and junior center fielder Brandon White each had two RBIs in the win, while three Mountaineers had two hits in the contest. Hill's home run was his fifth of the season, while Brophy's blast was his seventh in 2019. Additionally, Hill was playing in and starting his 220th career game, tied for the most in program history.
Senior left-hander Zach Reid earned the win to improve to 2-0, as he came in and got a strikeout to end the top of the ninth inning. Before him, junior right-handed starter Kade Strowd allowed four runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings, and junior right-handed reliever Sam Kessler held TCU to a run on two hits in 3.1 innings.
With runners on first and second and one out in the first inning, TCU took a 1-0 lead on an RBI groundout. Strowd avoided further damage with a strikeout to end the inning to strand a runner on third.
The Mountaineers tied the game at 1-1 in the third, as freshman shortstop Tevin Tucker led off the inning with an infield single and scored from third on a groundout by White.
A double play in the fourth and a runner caught stealing in the fifth helped Strowd face the minimum in back-to-back frames before the Horned Frogs scored three runs to take a 4-1 lead in the sixth. Jake Guenther led off the inning with a home run, and an RBI double and a run-scoring single added two more. With the bases loaded and one out, Kessler relieved Strowd and got a fielder's choice and a groundout to strand the bases loaded and prevent TCU from extending its advantage.
West Virginia cut the deficit to one with two runs on three hits in the seventh to make it 4-3. Freshman third baseman Phillip Dull led off the inning with a single up the middle, and senior designated hitter Andrew Zitel walked to put two on. With two outs, sophomore second baseman Tyler Doanes doubled home Dull, and White followed with an infield single that scored Zitel.
Guenther homered in the ninth to add to TCU's lead, making it 5-3, but that only set up Hill's walk-off heroics in the bottom half of the ninth. Brophy's home run got the scoring started, and White reached on a throwing error with two outs to extend the game for Hill.
West Virginia begins a five-game roadtrip at Virginia Tech on Wednesday. First pitch in Blacksburg, Virginia, is set for 6 p.m.
TCU 6, WVU 1: The No. 17 West Virginia University baseball team dropped the second game of the series to TCU, 6-1, on Saturday afternoon at Monongalia County Ballpark.
The Mountaineers suffered just their second Big 12 series loss of the season, and snapped a stretch of five consecutive conference victories. It was WVU's longest conference series win streak since it won six Big East series in a row in 2003.
"There are going to be times during the long season where you're pitching really well and not hitting, or hitting really well and not pitching," WVU coach Randy Mazey said. "We're in one of those positions right now, that we have an opportunity to get swept and we're not hitting and we're not pitching. So, the beauty of all the stuff you go through over the course of the season is that none of it ever really lasts that long, and that it's just a matter of time until we come out of it, and hopefully it's tomorrow."
West Virginia was held to one run, in the seventh, on four hits. The Horned Frogs scored their six runs on 11 hits. TCU took a 1-0 lead in the first and extended it to 6-0 with two in the third, two in the fourth and one in the fifth.
Sophomore left-hander Jackson Wolf suffered the loss. In 3.1 innings, he allowed five runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Three Mountaineer relievers followed and combined to give up one run on four hits in the final 5.2 innings.
Charles King gave up one run, which was unearned, in the complete-game outing for TCU. He struck out eight and walked one.