Over the past couple of seasons, this was the kind of game West Virginia’s baseball team built its success on. It’s now getting a taste of the other side of such results.
Pitt (14-10, 9-9) got an outstanding start from a non-weekend starter, put together a four-run inning and kept WVU from building any sort of momentum in a 5-1 win over the Mountaineers on Tuesday afternoon at Charles L. Cost Field in Pittsburgh. Playing clean defense, Panther pitchers scattered eight hits and did not walk a batter as WVU again struggled to score. The Mountaineers did not have a multiple hit inning after the first and neither stole a base nor executed a sacrifice hit — key components of their program.
Pitt, meanwhile, stole three bases, did not commit an error, and kept pressure on throughout, putting runners in scoring position in five of its eight times at bat.
West Virginia (11-11, 3-3) broke on top with a trio of two-out singles in the top of the first. Victor Scott, Hudson Byorick and Paul McIntosh all had hits, with the latter’s driving Scott home for the game’s first run, but Pitt, which had threatened in the first two innings, broke through in the third with four runs.
Mountaineer starter Carlson Reed was in trouble from the outset, allowing a runner to reach third base in the first inning and loading all stations in the second. He escaped both of those threats, but Pitt hit him hard in the third, tallying a solo home run to go along with a pair of doubles and single. He gave up four runs (all earned) on five hits and three walks, with a wild pitch added to the hurt. He took the loss, falling to 1-3 on the season.
Pitt starter Chris Gomez, in contrast, recorded a career high in innings pitched as he picked up his second win in his first start of the season. He went seven, allowing just the one earned run while striking out three. While not overpowering, his control was excellent, as he tallied 57 strikes on 88 pitches while keeping Mountaineer hitters off-balance.
McIntosh has two of West Virginia’s eight hits, and the only RBI.
WVU returns to Big 12 play this weekend with another road trip, this time to Waco, Texas, for a three-game set against the Baylor Bears. Friday’s first game is set for 8:30 p.m. ET, followed by a 4 p.m. first pitch on Saturday and a 1 p.m. series finale on Sunday.
The first game will be shown on ESPNU, with the final two contests available on ESPN+.
Baylor is 18-10 overall and 1-5 in the league. The Bears faced UT Arlington on Tuesday evening.
SEAMS AND BARRELS
After burning through 10 pitchers in the Oklahoma State series finale on Saturday, WVU saw six more hurlers go to the mound on Tuesday. WVU’s team ERA, next to last in the Big 12 coming into the game, now stands at 5.77.
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West Virginia still leads the all-time series WVU 109-92, but fell to 10-4 against the Panthers under head coach Randy Mazey. The defeat broke a six-game Mountaineer winning streak in the series.
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Hudson Byorick (batting average and on-base percentage) and Mikey Kluska (batting average) are the only Mountaineers in the Top 10 in any Big 12 offensive category.
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WVU failed to get a lead-off hitter aboard in the game. Pitt put three of its lead-off batters aboard in its eight at-bats.