WVU Evens Record With Rout Of Pitt
The West Virginia University baseball team scored 12 runs on 15 hits and added 14 strikeouts on the mound in a 12-1 victory over Pitt on Wednesday night at Monongalia County Ballpark.
In the 195th Backyard Brawl, the Mountaineers (15-15) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in first inning and never looked back on the way to their fourth consecutive win. The win marked the fifth time WVU has scored 10 or more runs and the third time it has had 15 or more hits in a game. West Virginia pitchers combined to hold the Panthers (17-13) to one run on just four hits while striking out 14. Pitt committed two errors, while WVU had none.
West Virginia improves to 107-88 all-time against Pitt. WVU has won four in a row in the series and nine of the last 12.
“We talked about what it says on the back of our t-shirts, every year, you have a slogan that you put on the back of your t-shirts, and this year it said ‘Here We Come,’ and that’s what we just talked about in the huddle,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said after the win. “As we talk about after every game, we’re trying to catch a rhythm and hopefully this is the start of it, because we have an opportunity to make some noise right now. This was, without question, the best game we’ve played all year on all three sides of the ball. We pitched really well, we played great defense and we hit really well. So, that’s super encouraging.”
Junior shortstop Jimmy Galusky and sophomore center fielder Brandon White led the offensive attack with a career-high four hits each, while junior right fielder Darius Hill had a career-best five RBIs. Galusky and White both drove in two runs, while White scored four runs and Galusky three.
On the mound, sophomore right-hander Isaiah Kearns pitched 5.0 strong innings, striking out a career-high eight batters. He did not allow a run on two hits while walking three. Kearns earned the win, his first of the year. Three relievers followed Kearns and combined to allow one run on two hits with six strikeouts and no walks in the final 4.0 innings.
After Kearns struck out a pair in the top of the first, the Mountaineers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in bottom half. White drove in the first run with a triple down the right-field line, and Hill followed with an RBI groundout.
Sophomore first baseman Marques Inman drove in White in the third to extend the WVU lead to 3-0. Kearns followed by striking out the side in the fourth, the first time a Mountaineer pitcher accomplished that feat on the night.
The Mountaineers then tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fourth to extend the advantage to 6-0. Galusky’s RBI single brought in the first run, and junior left fielder Braden Zarbnisky laid down a sacrifice bunt to score sophomore catcher Chase Illig. White’s two-out single scored Galusky for the inning’s final run.
Junior right-hander Christian Young relieved Kearns to begin the sixth inning. A solo home run put the Panthers on the board, but Young limited the damage to just one run.
West Virginia answered right back with three runs in the bottom of the frame to take a 9-1 lead. It all began with a two-out double by Galusky. Two walks then loaded the bases for Hill, who doubled to right-center to clear the bases.
Young then struck out the side in the seventh, and freshman righty Tristen Hudson added a perfect eighth inning.
West Virginia scored another three runs on five hits in the eighth inning to extend its lead to 12-1. Freshman pinch hitter Tyler Doanes led off the inning with a triple, his first extra-base hit of his career. He scored on Galusky’s fourth hit of the day, a single up the middle. A sacrifice fly by Hill scored Galusky, and Inman followed with a double to score White for the final run of the game.
Sophomore right-hander Alek Manoah pitched a scoreless ninth inning to secure the Backyard Brawl victory.
West Virginia returns to action against Oklahoma State this weekend in the Big 12 home opener at Monongalia County Ballpark. First pitch set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 13, and the series continues on Saturday at 4 p.m. Sunday’s finale is at 1 p.m. Tickets for all three games are available at WVUGAME.com, by calling 1-800-WVU GAME, at the Mountaineer Ticket Office at the WVU Coliseum or on game day at Monongalia County Ballpark.
Friday’s promotions include a Gold Rush, Friday Night Happy Hour, with half-off beverages from 5:30-6:30, and Baseball Bingo. Bucket hats, courtesy of Coca-Cola, will be given away to the first 1,000 fans before Saturday’s contest, which also is Family Day, and fans can purchase four tickets and receive a $10 concession voucher for just $25. Sunday is the first trading card giveaway of the season, along with Kids Day and postgame autographs, with a new Kids Zone Presented by WVU Medicine Children’s and Mr. Twister’s Balloon Art and Face Painting.
NOTES:West Virginia improves to 15-15 on the season and 6-2 at home … WVU improves to 107-88 all-time vs. Pitt and has won four in a row and nine of the last 12 in the series … The Mountaineers have won four in a row and five of their last six games … WVU scored 12 runs on 15 hits, the fifth time the Mountaineers have scored 10 or more runs and the third time they have had 15 or more hits in a game … Isaiah Kearns struck out a career-best eight batters in 5.0 innings, allowing no runs on two hits with three strikeouts … Kearns earned the win to improve to 1-1 on the year … Jimmy Galusky had a career-best and team-high-tying four hits and added three runs scored and two RBIs … Brandon White also had four hits, a career-high-tying total with four runs scored and two RBIs … Tyler Doanes had his first career extra-base hit as a Mountaineer, with an eighth-inning, pinch-hit double.