Baseball Drops Midweek Opener

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    Matt Keller
    Matt Keller
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    Playing its first midweek game of the season, the West Virginia University baseball team lost at Tennessee Tech, 8-0 on Tuesday evening in Cookeville, Tennessee.

    On a cold, windy night at Bush Stadium, the Mountaineers (7-7) were shut out for the first time this season and held to three hits and five baserunners. The Golden Eagles (10-5) scored their eight runs, six earned, on nine hits. Both teams committed one error.

    TTU is the first of nine opponents WVU will face this season that is coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017.

    Juniors Braden Zarbnisky and Darius Hill and sophomore Marques Inman had hits for the Mountaineers, while junior Ivan Gonzalez drew a pair of walks. Zarbnisky has reached base in every game he has appeared in this year and boasts a reached-base streak of 11 games, dating back to the 2017 season. Additionally, Inman’s second-inning single extended his hitting streak to five consecutive games

    Sophomore right-handed starter Isaiah Kearns suffered his first loss of the year. Making his second start and third appearance of the season, he allowed two runs on four hits with a strikeout and two walks in 4.0 innings.

    Kearns faced the minimum in the first with the help of Gonzalez, who threw out his seventh baserunner of the season.

    Inman singled to lead off the second inning, but he was stranded on second. In the bottom half, with the bases loaded and no outs, Kearns got a double play that scored one to give Tennessee Tech a 1-0 lead.

    With two outs in the third, Zarbnisky singled and Gonzalez walked, but a flyout ended the inning and stranded both Mountaineers.

    The Golden Eagles added a run in the fourth on a solo home run to make it 2-0, and scored four more in the fifth to extend their lead to 6-0 off the WVU bullpen. Sophomore left-hander Nick Snyder relieved Kearns to start the fifth. He gave up one on a bases-loaded fielder’s choice before another walk loaded the bases with two outs. Freshman righty Tristen Hudson relieved Snyder and gave up a bases-clearing double before a pop-out ended the inning.

    Tennessee Tech scored two more in the sixth, both unearned. With runners on the corners and two outs, back-to-back singles gave TTU an 8-0 lead. Junior lefty Zach Reid, who came in and got the last out of the sixth, pitched a scoreless seventh.

    Sophomore right-hander Riley Troutt made his first appearance of the season in the eighth inning and retired the side in order.

    Gonzalez walked and Hill doubled in the ninth inning to put runners on second and third with one out. However, they could not score.

    The series at Bush Stadium concludes on Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT. Live stats for the contest are linked on the baseball schedule page on Additional behind-the-scenes updates, news and notes from Cookeville, Tennessee, can be found on social media by following and connecting with the team on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @WVUBaseball.

    NOTES: West Virginia falls to 7-7 on the season … WVU has won five of its last seven games … West Virginia was shut out for the first time this season … Marques Inman extended his hitting streak to five games with a second-inning leadoff single … Braden Zarbnisky extended his reached-base streak to 11 consecutive games, a streak that began at the end of the 2017 season … Andrew Zitel’s team-best and career-long hitting streak was snapped at nine games, and he failed to reach base for the first time this season, snapping a streak of 11 consecutive games that began during in 2017 … Brandon White failed to reach base for the first time this season, and his reached-base streak of 14 consecutive games, dating back to last season, was snapped … Riley Troutt made his season debut in the eighth and pitched a 1-2-3 inning …

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