The No. 22-ranked West Virginia University baseball team posted a four-run ninth inning and defeated Bryan 9-7 in its final game of the CCU Baseball Tournament Sunday at Springs Brooks Stadium in Conway, South Carolina.
The comeback was highlighted by freshman pinch hitter Nathan Blasick, who hit a go-ahead three-run home run, one of six home runs on the day for WVU (4-3).
“We came down here without eight-to-10 guys on the team who had to stay back home, so we had to count on some new guys to play really well down here, and they did,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “We got a lot of production out of guys that normally wouldn’t have been in the lineup, and that was a huge hit at the end of the game.”
Bryant (2-4) scored first in the bottom of the first with a two-run home run off the bat of catcher Liam McGill. In the top of the second, the Mountaineers responded with a home run of their own — a solo shot off the bat of senior Kevin Brophy.
In the bottom of the second, Bryant got the run back as infielder Michael Stallato scored on a WVU throwing error. Then, in the fifth, back-to-back solo home runs gave the Bulldogs a 5-1 lead.
West Virginia again responded, this time in the top of the sixth, as Vince Ippoliti and Victor Scott went back to back with solo home runs, making it 5-3 in favor of the Bulldogs.
In the bottom of the sixth, another WVU throwing error resulted in a Bryant run. However, after a scoreless seventh, WVU made it a one-run game as Brophy hit his second home run of the game and Mikey Kluska had a long ball of his own.
Bryant added another unearned run in the eighth making the score 7-5. But WVU had a comeback looming, as the Mountaineers scored four runs in the top of the ninth, shut the door in the bottom of the ninth and took the 9-7 victory.
On the mound, sophomore left-hander Jake Carr got the start. He went 42/3 innings allowing four earned runs off six hits and two walks. He struck out four. Jacob Waters was credited with the win after he pitched 11/3 innings allowing one unearned run. He allowed no hits and struck out two.
With the win, WVU improved to 4-0 all-time against Bryant.
WVU’s next game is its home opener Friday at 3 p.m. against Kent State at Monongalia County Ballpark. The Mountaineers and the Golden Flashes are set for a three-game series.
COASTAL CAROLINA 10, WVU 5: The West Virginia University baseball team fell to Coastal Carolina 10-5 Saturday afternoon on the second day of the CCU Baseball Tournament in Conway, South Carolina.
The Mountaineers (3-3) held a pair of leads in the back-and-forth affair at Springs Brooks Stadium before the Chanticleers (4-2) tallied five unanswered runs to close the game. CCU hit four home runs.
WVU junior outfielder Austin Davis led off the game with a base hit before eventually advancing to third and scoring on sophomore outfielder Victor Scott’s sacrifice fly.
Coastal, though, answered with a run in the bottom of the first after WVU committed a two-out fielding error to make it 1-1.
From there, junior left-handed pitcher Adam Tulloch cruised for a stretch, tallying seven strikeouts in his first three innings of work. Then, CCU recorded back-to-back solo home runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 3-1 lead.
In the top of the fifth, West Virginia rallied for three two-out runs to take the lead once again. First, sophomore Matt McCormick scorched an RBI double down the left-field line, then redshirt junior Vince Ippoliti followed with an RBI single to left, tying it at 3. Scott added to his production moments later with a run-scoring single to center to give WVU a 4-3 lead.
In the bottom half, the Chants regained the lead on a two-out, two-run homer to give the hosts a 5-4 advantage. It was the final frame for Tulloch, who finished with a career-high 10 strikeouts in five innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits.
The game drew even for the third time in the top of the sixth on freshman Braden Barry’s RBI groundout, which scored freshman Mikey Kluska. After that, though, CCU tallied the final five runs of the day.
In the seventh, a WVU throwing error helped give the Chanticleers a 6-5 lead before the CCU scored again on an infield single. Coastal added three more in the eighth, two of which came on a two-run homer.
The Mountaineers went out in order in the ninth.
Davis and Ippoliti each finished with a pair of hits in the loss, while Scott logged two RBIs. On the mound, Ottinger tossed two innings out of the bullpen, while junior right-hander Madison Jeffrey and sophomore righty Skylar Gonzalez worked the ninth.
WVU 13, KENNESAW STATE 3: The No. 23-ranked West Virginia University baseball team on Friday defeated Kennesaw State 13-3 in its first game of the CCU Baseball Tournament at Springs Brooks Stadium in Conway, South Carolina.
Three Mountaineer home runs and a stellar outing from senior left-handed pitcher Jackson Wolf highlighted the victory.
“This is the kind of team that we know we have,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “We pitched really well, we played great defense, we ran, and we showed power. Every side of the baseball was really good today.”
After Jackson’s six-pitch first inning, WVU (3-2) started the scoring in its first offensive frame. After junior right fielder Austin Davis reached third by a fielding error and two stolen bases, junior catcher Vince Ippoliti drove him in with a groundout to give WVU a 1-0 lead.
After adding a run in the second inning, WVU broke the game open and took a 6-0 lead with a four-run third inning. It began with a lead off home run by sophomore first baseman Matt McCormick — his third of the season — followed an RBI groundout by senior infelder Kevin Brophy and a sacrifice fly from freshman shortstop Mikey Kluska.
After a scoreless fourth inning — the only inning that Kennesaw State (3-2) held WVU scoreless — the Mountaineers made it 8-0 with a two-run home run by sophomore center fielder Victor Scott.
In the sixth, an RBI groundout off the bat of McCormick gave WVU a 9-0 lead and a solo home run by Brophy in the seventh sent WVU’s lead into double digits.
In the eighth, the Owls got on the board with two runs, but WVU had an answer with a three-run frame of its own. Kennesaw State scored one more run in the ninth before the Mountaineers sealed the 13-3 victory.
Offensively, Scott led the Mountaineers as he was 3-for-4 with two RBI’s and three runs scored.
Wolf was credited with the win and is now 1-0 on the season. He pitched seven shutout innings allowing four hits, one walk and striking out four.
“Once [Wolf] gets confidence, he gets a lot better,” Mazey said. “I think getting out of that first inning on only six pitches gave him a lot of confidence, and he just kept getting better as the game went on.”
WVU redshirt sophomore reliever Daniel Ouderkick pitched the eighth, giving up two runs and sophomore reliever Tim Wynia pitched the final frame for the Mountaineers, giving up a run on one hit.