WVU Doubles Up In Win Over Pitt
If there weren’t a lot of two-for-one specials in place at PNC Park on Tuesday night, there should have been. West Virginia rapped out six doubles among its 13 total hits in pounding Pitt 9-4 to sweep the season series from the Panthers.
Three Mountaineers doubled up on the extra base hits, as Tyler Doanes, Darius Hill, and TJ Lake all had a pair of two-baggers. WVU scored all nine of its runs over a five-inning stretch in the middle of the game to steadily draw away from the Panthers.
Pitt (20-32) got a leadoff home run from Nico Popa in the bottom of the second to open the scoring, but the Mountaineers responded with its initial barrage of doubles in the top of the third to take a 3-1 lead. TJ Lake led off with a double and moved to third on a Tevin Tucker bunt single. Tyler Doanes doubled to score Lake and move Tucker to third. Brandon White followed with an RBI groundout, and Darius Hill smacked WVU’s third double of the inning to bring Tucker home and give the Mountaineers a 3-1 lead.
Two innings later, West Virginia (32-18) tapped Pitt reliever Chris Gomez for two more runs. Tyler Doanes singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and took third on Marques Inman’s infield single. The Panthers then helped the Mountaineers with an error on Paul McIntosh’s grounder, which allowed Doanes to score. Ivan Gonzalez then singled to push Inman across, giving WVU a 5-1 lead.
The Mountaineers added another run in the sixth when Darius Hill smacked his second RBI double of the game, this one driving home Brandon White. The seventh saw three more runs cross the plate courtesy of two-base hits, with Lake driving in one run while Doanes scored two on his extra base effort.
All of that support was plenty for WVU starter Nick Snyder, who again put up a quality start (and then some). He allowed only that solo home run in the second while pitching seven innings to get the win and move his record to 8-1 on the season. Snyder yielded only three hits and two walks while striking out 11, lowering his ERA to 1.95.
Dillon Meadows relieved Snyder in the eighth and walked two before giving up a three-run homer to Cole MacLaren, but he steadied himself to get three outs in the inning. Madison Jeffrey executed a 1-2-3 ninth to close out the win.
Doanes was 3-5 with three RBI and two runs scored. Hill, Lake, Ivan Gonzalez and Kevin Brophy had two hits each, with Hill accounting for two RBI and Lake scoring twice.
West Virginia closes out the regular season with a non-conference three-game series against George Washington at Monongalia County Ballpark. The series runs from Thursday through Saturday, which gives WVU one extra day for rest and travel to the Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City. The tournament begins Wednesday, May 22.
SEAMS AND BARRELS
Brandon White and Paul McIntosh were the only Mountaineers in the starting lineup without a hit, but each contributed. White worked two walks and had a groundout RBI and a well-executed sacrifice bunt. McIntosh also earned an RBI on an error by Pitt second baseman Luca Lotito.
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WVU left nine men on base, but that was a minor blip opposing many positives in the hitting department. WVU hit .308 with two out and had five RBI from those hits. The Mountaineers also batted .368 with runners in scoring position. The Mountaineer pitching staff did not yield a two-out hit.
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WVU is 3-0 all-time at PNC Park.
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WIth his 3-5 day at the plate, Tyler Doanes inched back over the .300 mark, finishing the day with a .301 batting average.
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WVU is now 19-7 in non-conference games, with three more remaining with George Washington.