WVU Gets Series Win As It Batters William & Mary In Sunday Finale
West Virginia likely felt as if it let the back end of Saturday’s doubleheader against William & Mary slip away, and had no intentions of allowing that to happen again on Sunday in the series finale. The Mountaineers (12-7) rapped out nine extra base hits and got solid performances from all three pitchers it used on the way to a 12-2 win. The victory gave WVU the series win over the Tribe, and ended the six-day road swing with its third victory in five tries.
The Mountaineers, following a track they have been on for much of the season, again jumped out to an early lead. Tyler Doanes tripled to lead off the game, then scored on Darius Hill’s sacrifice fly. The Mountaineers kept the pressure on in the second, scoring two runs without hitting the ball out of the infield. Paul McIntosh got aboard on an error by Tribe third baseman Phil Conti, advancing to second on the play. After a sacrifice, Brandon White walked and stole second, setting up a rare two-score suicide squeeze. Tevin Tucker laid down the successful bunt and both McIntosh and White sped home, extending the Mountaineer lead to 3-0.
In the fifth inning, the Mountaineers began trotting out big hits. Ivan Gonzalez doubled, Darius Hill walked, and Kevin Brophy mashed a three-run shot to right-center that chased starter Jacob Haney (2-1) from the mound.
His opposite number, West Virginia’s Kade Strowd, had better results. He shut out the Tribe (13-4) through the first six innings, and although he allowed two runs in the seventh, that was just a one-inning blip in an otherwise outstanding showing. In 7.1 innings, he gave up only three hits while striking out eight, and made some of his best pitches when William & Mary had runners on base. He stranded eight runners while lowering his ERA to 3.07 on the way to his second win of the season against just one loss.
Any lingering thoughts of yesterday’s second game, in which the Mountaineers yielded a 4-1 lead, were put to rest in the top of the eighth. Sending 11 batters to the plate, WVU racked up five extra base hits in the frame to post six runs. Paul McIntosh started the parade with a solo home run, which was followed by a Brandon White triple and a pair of doubles from TJ Lake and Tyler Doanes. A walk and a balk brought home the final two runs of the inning, staking the Mountaineers to a 12-2 advantage.
The West Virginia bullpen, which has had a few shaky moments this year, was excellent, albeit with a lot of wiggle room to work with. Dillon Meadows recorded a 1-2-3 eighth, and Tristen Hudson struck out the side around a walk in the ninth.
Doanes had a huge day at the plate, going 3-5 with two doubles and a triple along with a walk. Every Mountaineer in the starting lineup other than Darius Hill had at least one hit, with White collecting two while driving home one run and scoring twice. Brophy had four RBI, while Tucker added three.
West Virginia returns home for a single game against Youngstown State on Tuesday, MArch 19. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Monongalia County Ballpark. Following that game, WVU hits the road to Waco, Texas, to open Big 12 play with a weekend set against Baylor.
Randy Mazey got his 201st win as West Virginia’s head coach …. the road series win moved West Virginia’s RPI to 13 … William & Mary, which came in to the series at #30, dropped 21 spots … WVU’s 12 runs were a season high, besting the previous top mark of nine, which had been achieved three times this year … William & Mary managed just three hits, with a seventh inning triple driving in its only two runs … WVU had its third consecutive game of ten hits or more … WVU is 7-2 in its last nine games.