It was not your typical night inside Monongalia County Ballpark Thursday night for the West Virginia Mountaineers (33-18). Not because WVU played on Thursday for the first time this season, but two career records were set in 10-1 win over the George Washington Colonial (30-23).
Tyler Doanes set the tone to lead-off the bottom of the first inning with a line-drive that one-hopped off the wall for a stand-up double. Brandon White moved him to third on a sacrifice bunt, then Darius Hill hit a line drive that dropped into centerfield for an RBI single.
George Washington answered in the top of the second. The middle of order had West Virginia starting pitcher Alek Manoah timed. Dom D’Alessandro, Noah Levin and Tyler Hix hit three consecutive singles to tie the game.
The Colonials had the momentum and had runners on first and second, but the big right hander settled in and struck out Derek Ripp for the first out. That strikeout broke the single season strikeout record that was held by John Radosevich, who set the record in 1964 with 123 strikeouts.
“Any time your name goes down in such a good program, a record that’s been there for 55 years it feels good.” Said Manoah.
The Mountaineers completely took the game over in the third scoring seven runs to break the game open. Brandon White started the bottom of the inning with a walk, followed up by seven consecutive hits, capped off by Tevin Tucker reaching on an RBI single to right-centerfield. He proceeded to steal second and third on back-to-back pitches and took home on a wild pitch to give WVU and 8-1 lead.
Alek came out of the game in the fourth, he was on a pitch count going into the game, but West Virginia head coach Randy Mazey wanted to make sure the Junior from Miami, Florida got the recognition he deserves. and the crowd didn’t disappoint giving Manoah a standing ovation.
“It started out the same way as it does every time I try to pull Manoah, I had a little fight on my hands, but I wanted to give him an opportunity to be recognized by the crowd.” Said West Virginia head coach Randy Mazey. “He may go down as one of the greatest pitchers in the history of this program and I just wanted the people to came out to see him pitch have the opportunity to recognize him for it.”
“That was huge. That was definitely on of the best moment of my career here.” Said Manoah. “Coming off and every on their feet, that was pretty sweet.”
Andrew Zitel began the bottom of the seventh ripping a single into left field, followed by TJ Lake working a walk, then Phillip Dull smacked an RBI single to right-center, increasing the Mountaineer lead.
In the eighth, another Mountaineer record was broken. Darius Hill started the inning with a double, his 74th of his career, that broke current Saint Louis Cardinal Jedd Gyorko’s record of 73 from 2008-2010.
When Darius connected, the ball looked like it had a chance to leave the park as left fielder Colin Brophy climbed the wall to make the play but bounced off the top off the wall for a stand-up double.
“It was a win-win for me.” Said Hill. “I was wanting a homerun off the bat, but once I saw it fall, I knew it was a double so, I knew the record was right there, exciting moment for me.
Ivan Gonzalez brought in Hill with a single to give the Mountaineers their 10th run of the night.
“What are the chances that two career records that have been held for so long go down on the same night? The stars got to line up a little bit on that one, but super proud of those guys.” Boasted Mazey. “They make it fun to coach. What they’ve given to this program and their careers here – people have no idea what goes into being a student athlete in our program with all the nutrition we throw at them, the sleep we throw at them, the academics we throw at them. We’re only allowed to be out here 20 hours a week but if you want to be a championship type player, you don’t get the opportunity to take a day off. When you’re not on the field, you still gotta act like a champion. AK (Alek Manoah) and Darius (Hill) have been, across the board, as good as anybody I’ve ever had as far as being committed to our program and our culture and doing the right thing on the field and off the field. There couldn’t be two more deserving guys to break career records.”
West Virginia and George Washington will meet in game two Friday night at 6:30 pm est.
|Team Batting Totals||34||10||14||9||5||0||0||7||7||0||1||1||9||3||0||27||10||1||—|