Mountaineers Win Doubleheader Opener At Georgia Southern
For the second consecutive day, the West Virginia University baseball team used solid outings by a pair of pitchers and early runs to beat Georgia Southern, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon in Statesboro, Georgia, in the first game of a doubleheader.
The Mountaineers (4-2) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and left-handers Jackson Wolf and Beau Lowery combined to hold the Eagles (1-4) to one run on five hits. The victory ensured WVU of a series win at Jack Stallings Field at J.I. Clements Stadium, with the finale set for a 5 p.m. ET first pitch in the second game of today’s doubleheader.
Wolf turned in the second consecutive quality start by a West Virginia starter. The junior allowed one run on three hits with two strikeouts and a walk in a career-best 7.1 innings. He improved to 2-0 on the season, while Lowery relieved him and picked up his first career save. A freshman, Lowery held GSU to no runs on two hits with three strikeouts and a walk in 1.2 innings.
A two-run double in the first inning and back-to-back wild pitches that scored a run in the ninth was enough for the Mountaineer offense, who scored their three runs on seven hits. Both teams left seven runners on base.
Senior third baseman Ivan Gonzalez led the team with two hits and two RBIs.
The Mountaineers once again jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the first inning. Sophomore second baseman Tyler Doanes led off the game with a single and junior first baseman Marques Inman walked to put two on. With two outs, Gonzalez doubled to left-center to score Doanes and Inman.
West Virginia scored first for the fifth time in its first six games to open the season and plated a run in the first inning for the third time.
WVU left a runner on in the second and two in the third, while Wolf retired the side in order in the second and left a runner on second in the third. After GSU’s first hit led off the fourth, Wolf got a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Both squads stranded runners on in the fifth, and Wolf pitched another perfect inning in the sixth.
In the seventh, the Mountaineers got a leadoff walk, but left the runner on second, and Wolf escaped a jam with the help of a double play and strikeout. The inning began with an error and a single, but the 4-6-3 double play and three-pitch strikeout preserved West Virginia’s 2-0 advantage.
West Virginia had a chance to add on in the top of the eighth, with runners on the corners, but could not bring a run across. In the bottom half, the Eagles cut the deficit in half to make it 2-1.
With one out, Wolf hit a batter and walked one to put two on, and Lowery relieved him on the mound. An RBI double off the top of the 30-feet-high wall in right followed, but the deflection off the wall prevented both runners to score. An intentional walk loaded the bases with two outs, but Lowery got a strikeout to end the inning.
The Mountaineers answered right back in the top of the ninth inning to extend their lead back to two, at 3-1. Freshman shortstop Tevin Tucker walked with one out and advanced two bases to third on a wild pitch. He then scored on another wild pitch.
Lowery gave up a two-out single in the ninth, but a groundout ended the game.
Due to inclement weather expected in the Statesboro area on Sunday, the series will conclude later today with the second game of the doubleheader.