West Virginia Goes Deep To Down Tech In Midweek Win
BLACKSBURG, Va. — Midweek games aren’t yet getting the attention they should at West Virginia, especially late in the season when the team is fighting for postseason positioning. Head coach Randy Mazey knows how important they are — thus he was pleased with the Mountaineers’ 7-2 win over Virginia Tech on the road on Wednesday evening.
The Mountaineers got a two-run homer from Kevin Brophy in the second inning and a clinching three-run blast from Marques Inman in the eighth to send at least half the crowd home happy — many of whom came across the southern West Virginia border to watch the Mountaineers advance their record to 29-17 overall. Virginia Tech dropped to 25-25.
In his second consecutive at-bat, Brophy homered to give the Mountaineers the lead. Going with a pitch from starter Luke Scherzer, Brophy drove the ball deep over the left field wall to give the Mountaineers a 2-0 advantage. That followed his ninth-inning home run on Sunday afternoon against TCU, which put WVU in position to win that contest. Two innings later, the Mountaineers put runners on second and third with none out, and pushed them home on a Brophy groundout and a Tevin Tucker two-out single.
Meanwhile, Snyder was continually fighting his way out of threats. The Hokies put the leadoff runner aboard in five consecutive innings from the second through the sixth, but managed just one run over that stretch, with that comng on a wild pitch by Snyder in the fifth. The lefthander worked into the seventh, getting one out before yielding a hit that ended his night after 118 pitches.
“He just needs to go out and be Nick Snyder, and he did it again,” Mazey said after the game. “They got a lot of leadoff guys on base, and he got really good when that happened.”
West Virginia’s relief corps didn’t provide immediate support, as Tristen Hudson and Zach Reid combined to hit the next three Hokie batters to push a run across. However, Reid steadied himself, getting a grounder to first that Inman fielded and threw to the plate for a force; then a fly ball to right to end the inning.
Inman trumped his defensive play in the next inning, blasting a 3-1 Ryan Metz pitch deep into the night for a 3-run homer that pushed the lead out to 7-2.
Ryan Bergert and Zach Ottinger closed the game in efficient fashion for the Mountaineers setting down six Hokie batters in order.
Snyder pitched 6.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits. He struck out 12 and walked five, but did not have a 1-2-3 inning after having eight consecutive against the Herd. That contributed to a frustrating night for the Hokies, who left 10 men on base.
West Virginia continues its road trip on Friday, May 10 with the first of a three-game series at Kansas State. That is WVU’s final Big 12 series of the regular season.
“We have to go out and try to win games. Whatever happenes, happens,” said Mazey of the road ahead. “But we can’t afford to slip up or get complacent. You worry about that a little bit — we take a four-run lead with Snyder on the mound and you get a little complacent and let them back in the game. You can’t do that, expecially this time of the year. The’s games are so super-important, and you can’t let one get away from you.”
SEAMS AND BARRELS
WVU got four extra base hits — two homers and two doubles — in its six hits. All five of Tech’s base hits were singles.
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WVU has won its last four games against Virginia Tech.
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Darius Hill broke Tyler Kuhn’s all-tme record for games played and games started at WVU with 221. Hill is 28 at-bats behind Kuhn’s career record of 906.
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In the two innings in which WVU hit home runs, Hokie pitchers struck out the side.