WVU Starts Early, Gets Series Opener Vs. TCU
The West Virginia University baseball team scored the go-ahead run to regain the lead in the eighth inning to beat TCU, 4-3, on Friday night in Fort Worth, Texas.
In the series opener at Lupton Stadium, the Mountaineers (26-21, 8-11 Big 12) took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning and led 3-0 in the middle of the sixth, but the Horned Frogs (27-19, 8-10 Big 12) rallied to tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth. WVU answered with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning to secure its first-ever win at TCU. West Virginia has won three of the last four games in the series.
“We really dominated the game from start to finish, we had nine more hits than they had, but we ended up leaving 15 guys on base, that has to be some kind of record,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “We had opportunities almost every inning the whole night, just couldn’t get the big hit to put the game away. But, our offensive approach was really good all night long.”
Junior right fielder Darius Hill led the offensive attack with a career-high-tying four hits and two RBIs. He drove in the game’s first run in the first inning and WVU’s go-ahead run in the eighth. Hill’s game-winning hit came on an RBI single through the left side with one out.
Junior catcher Ivan Gonzalez joined Hill with a career-high-tying four hits. He added an RBI and a run scored.
Freshman right-handed reliever Tristen Hudson had a strong outing on the mound and picked up his second career win and second in as many games. In 2.1 innings, he allowed just one hit with a strikeout.
Senior right-handed starter BJ Myers allowed three runs in 5.1 innings, all in the sixth. He gave up four hits, struck out three and walked four.
The Mountaineer pitching staff combined to hold the Horned Frogs to three runs on five hits. WVU scored its four runs on 14 hits. TCU committed four errors, while West Virginia had three.
Hill extended his reached-base streak to a career-high 23 games, while sophomore first baseman Marques Inman’s reached-base streak was extended to 22 games thanks to a two-hit night. Junior second baseman Kyle Gray saw his 23-game hit streak come to an end, the longest hit-streak by a Mountaineer since 2009.
For the 28th time this season, West Virginia scored first, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Sophomore center fielder Brandon White singled up the middle and Hill followed with a base hit through the right side. White went to third, but scored on an errant throw in to third by the TCU right fielder.
The leadoff batter in the bottom of the first reached on an error, but Myers worked around it to strand the runner on third.
That started a stretch where Myers retired nine in a row, capped when he struck out the side in the third.
In the fourth, the Mountaineers extended their lead to 2-0. Freshman third baseman Tyler Doanes reached on an error to lead off the inning and scored on a double to center by Gonzalez.
White and Gonzalez teamed up on a great play to end the fourth inning and keep the Horned Frogs off the scoreboard. With a runner on second and two outs, the runner was sent home on a single up the middle. However, White’s throw was in time to get the runner at home, and Gonzalez applied the tag on the throw that was just up the line.
Myers left two on in the fifth, as three reached base. After a double play, a runner reached on a throwing error and another on a walk, but Myers escaped the jam with a groundout to first.
West Virginia made it 3-0 in the sixth, with the help of two errors and a walk. Gonzalez led off the inning with an infield single and advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt. Another error but runners on the corners, and a two-out walk loaded the bases. Hill then hit a blooper that landed on the third-base side, glancing just off the glove of the TCU pitcher, who made a diving attempt. Hill’s third hit of the day scored Gonzalez.
TCU tied the game in the bottom of the sixth, scoring three runs on three hits with two walks. With the bases loaded, back-to-back singles each brought in a run. Hudson relieved Myers and got a pair of groundouts. The first tied the game at 3-3, and the second ended the inning and stranded two in scoring position.
Both teams left runners on in the seventh, as WVU stranded a pair and TCU one.
The Mountaineers regained the lead in the eighth, 4-3. Junior left fielder Braden Zarbnisky led off the inning with a walk, stole second and advanced to third on an infield bunt single. With one out, Hill drove him in with a single through the left side.
Hudson got the first two outs of the eighth, and sophomore right-handed reliever Alek Manoah came in to get the final out.
In the ninth, Manoah gave up a one-out walk, but got a strikeout and a popup to end the game. Manoah earned his second save of the season.
The series continues on Saturday, with first pitch set for 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT, while Sunday’s series finale at Lupton Stadium commences at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT. Saturday’s contest will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Southwest and streamed on Fox Sports Go. Fans can listen to the games on the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG on various affiliates throughout the state, while fans across the country can tune in to the broadcasts online at WVUsports.com and on the WVU Gameday App, as well as the TuneIn App on their mobile device. Dan Zangrilli will have the call.
NOTES: West Virginia improves to 26-21 on the season and 8-11 in Big 12 play … WVU has won three of the last four games against TCU, and tonight was West Virginia’s first win at TCU … The Mountaineers have won six of their last eight games … West Virginia scored first for the 28th time this season and in the first inning for the 21st time … Tristen Hudson earned the win, his second of his career and second in as many games … Hudson did not allow a run on one hit in 2.1 innings in relief … BJ Myers pitched 5.1 innings and allowed three runs on four hits with three strikeouts and four walks and earned a no-decision … Alek Manoah earned his second save of the season … Darius Hill and Ivan Gonzalez each had a career-high-tying four hits … Hill (23 games) and Marques Inman (22) extended their career-long reached-base streaks. … Kyle Gray’s hit streak came to an end at 23 games, the longest by a Mountaineer since 2009.