WVU Routs Marahall In Fall Baseball Opener

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    Kevin Kinder
    Kevin Kinder
    Muskets:

    Runs in four consecutive innings propelled the West Virginia University baseball team to an 8-1 victory over Marshall on Friday night to open the fall season.

    In front of more than 900 fans at Monongalia County Ballpark, the Mountaineers scored eight runs on 10 hits, while the Thundering Herd scored one run on eight hits. A total of 21 players saw action for WVU in the first of two fall games in preparation for the 2019 season.

    Freshman third baseman Phillip led the team with two hits and two RBIs and added a scoreless ninth inning on the mound in his first appearance as a Mountaineer. Redshirt junior catcher Chase Illig and sophomore catcher Paul McIntosh both had a hit, an RBI and a team-high-tying two RBIs.

    On the mound, junior left-hander Nick Snyder got the start and earned the win. In 3.0 innings, he held Marshall to just two hits with a pair of strikeouts and one walk.

    The Mountaineers got in the board with two runs in the bottom of the third. Senior outfielder Braden Zarbnisky got things started with a two-out double to left-center field, and sophomore second baseman Tyler Doanes walked to put two on. Freshman outfielder J.J. Sousa came through with an RBI single to score Zarbnisky, and Doanes advanced to third and Sousa took second on the throw. A wild pitch brought home Doanes to give WVU a 2-0 lead.

    After holding the Thundering Herd scoreless in the top of the fourth, West Virginia added two more in the bottom of the inning to extend its lead to 4-0. McIntosh led off the inning with a walk and scored on a double through the left side by Illig. Redshirt junior outfielder TJ Lake then walked, and Dull singled to center to load the bases. Freshman shortstop Tevin Tucker capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly to left field to drive home Illig.

    Meanwhile on the mound for West Virginia, Snyder got the start and did not allow a run on two hits in 3.0 innings. Freshman righty Brock Helverson followed with 2.0 scoreless frames.

    The Mountaineers added three more in the third, all with two outs, to increase their advantage to 7-0. Senior first baseman Andrew Zitel walked, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on McIntosh’s single though the left side. Another passed ball put McIntosh at second, and Illig walked to put two on. A walk to Lake loaded the bases for Dull, who reached on a two-RBI single.

    Marshall came through with a run in the top of the sixth. A pair of walks was followed by an RBI single by Tucker Linder. Senior left-hander Ty Shoaff limited the damage to one run in the inning, as the Thundering Herd were held to one hit in the inning with three runners left on base.

    West Virginia answered right back with a run in the bottom of the sixth to make it 8-1. Sophomore catcher Connor Hamilton walked and advanced to second on a passed ball. Freshman second baseman Austin Davis singled to shortstop, putting runners on the corners for Sousa, who grounded into a double play, but Hamilton scored an unearned run.

    Freshman right-hander Zach Ottinger followed with 2.0 scoreless innings on the mound, and Dull pitched a scoreless ninth inning to complete West Virginia’s win.

    West Virginia’s fall exhibition slate concludes with the Backyard Brawl against Pitt on Friday, Oct. 26, at 6 p.m., in Morgantown. Admission will be free for all fans at Monongalia County Ballpark.

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