WVU Misses Sweep Chance With Loss To GSU
West Virginia was perfectly positioned to get a big series sweep on its visit to Statesboro, Georgia this weekend, but a lack of timely hitting prevented that outcome as the Mountaineers dropped a 1-0 decision to Georgia Southern after winning the first two games of the set.
The Mountaineers (4-3) again got an outstanding performance from its starter, as Kade Strowd followed the winning performances of Alek Manoah and Jackson Wolf in the first two games with one of his own. Allowing just two hits and one walk in 6.2 innings while striking out eight, Strowd showed pinpoint control, issuing 74 strikes on his 97 pitches while lowering his ERA to 2.45 on the year.
West Virginia’s relief pitchers also recorded quality work, with Ryan Berget working an inning and allowing just a bunt single and Zach Reid striking out his only opponent.
The only fly in the ointment came in the sixth, when an error set up the game’s only run and made Strowd the hard luck loser of the contest. GSU’s Nolan Tressler reached second on a throwing error, went to third on an infield single and scored on a fielder’s choice to allow the Eagles to win.
While West Virginia’s pitching was excellent, so too was GSU’s. Starter Daniel Collins blanked the Mountaineers through six innings, and relievers David Johnson and Cole Whitney did likewise, holding WVU to just five hits while walking one batter against eight strikeouts. Each Eagle pitcher hit one West Virginia batter.
West Virginia, as it already has several times this year, missed multiple scoring chances.
The Mountaineers put runners at the corners with none out in the fifth, again had two on in the sixth, and put the tying run in scoring position with one out in the ninth, all to no avail.
No one had more more than one hit for West Virginia, which has yet to hit at the level expected by Randy Mazey this year. No Mountaineer is over the .300 mark on the year, with the .296 averages of Tyler Doanes and Ivan Gonzalez leading the team.
West Virginia returns home Tuesday, Feb. 26 to face Towson at 2 p.m. in another game that was added to the schedule to take advantage of anticipated dry weather conditions. Admission is free, although concession stands will not be open. Fans will be permitted to bring their own food and drinks.
WVU and Towson have played seven games, with a dead even 3-3-1 result. It will be the first meeting between the schools since 2010.