The West Virginia Mountaineers (8-5) were down four in the sixth inning before taking the lead and putting away the Kent Stat Golden Flashes (4-9) 8-4 in the second game of the doubleheader Saturday afternoon.
West Virginia starting pitcher Jackson Wolfe opened the game battling and found himself in trouble in the second inning.
Kent State’s Patrick Ferguson singled up the middle in the second setting up an RBI triple from Nick Elsen on a deep line drive into right-centerfield. Then, Josh Hollander beat the throw to first scoring Elsen.
Jackson got out of the inning on a sacrifice bunt and a strikeout. However, West Virginia head coach Randy Mazey would go to his bullpen in the third after Wolfe hit lead-off hitter Pete Schuler on a 1-2 pitch.
Freshman Brock Helverson got out of the inning backed up by the Mountaineer defense.
Helverson was pulled for freshman Beau Lowery in the fifth after giving up a walk and hitting Schuler for his second HPB on the day. Lowery got out of the inning with a 6-4-3 double play, then a fielder’s choice.
Beau got himself in a jam in the sixth and gave up two runs. He struck out lead-off hitter Josh Hollander, but the ball bounced in front of catcher Ivan Gonzalez and he wasn’t able to make the stop as Hollander reached first base.
Then with one out, Greg Lewandowski singled on a groundball to leftfield and Hollander moved over to third after Paul McIntosh let the ball get by him, pulling his glove up too early.
Following intentionally walking Ben Carew to load the bases with two outs, Schuler pulled one down the left field line, bringing in Hollander and Lewandowski.
Mazey again would go to his bullpen. Freshmen Gabe Kurtzhals took the hill and ended the inning on a fielder’s choice.
The Mountaineers went into the bottom of the sixth inning trailing 4-0 but would go into the sevent with a one-point lead.
Tyler Doanes hit a hardline drive into left field for a single to start the sixth inning rally. Doanes quickly stole second and advance to third on the high throw to second base.
Brandon White drew a walk, then immediately stole second base before Darius Hill and Marcus Inman produced back-to-back singles, scoring Doanes and White.
Then with one out and two on, Paul McIntonsh homered to the opposite field, as the ball talied into the right field foul pole, capping off a five-run inning.
Hill and Inman connected again in the eighth inning, sparking a three-run inning. Darius singled to left field and Marcus Inman hit a triple deep into right-centerfield bring home Hill.
Ivan Gonzalez poked one into right field and moved to third after McIntosh drove a single into left field. Gonzalez scored on a wild pitch.
“Congratulations were in order.” Is what Randy Mazey said he told his players after the game. “It’s so hard to win both ends of a doubleheader. Just naturally, 80% of all doubleheaders get split, just because the team that loses the first game has the momentum going into the second game because they just tied the score up. Bats get better, just like they did they came out swinging and took the lead.”
The Mountaineers trailed 4-0 and only had two hits going into the sixth inning. They finished the final four innings with 8 runs on 9 hits.
“Our offense hasn’t been good, but it’s coming.” Explained Mazey. “And, as its been coming, its been coming slowly, but are pitchers have helped us hang in there in the meantime. If we get our offense cooking the way we’re pitching, we got a chance to be a pretty good team.”
Mazey went to his bullpen several times throughout the game and three times he called upon freshmen.
“I don’t pay attention to what year they’re in school at this point.” Said Mazey. “The guy who’s throwing the best is going to get in there. Those guys have done a really good job. They’ve grown up a lot pretty quick. We still had some guys down there that we could have brought in the game that are still throwing the ball pretty well for us. Yeah, hats off to all the pitchers this year.”
The Mountaineers play the final game of the series against the Golden Flashes on Sunday at 1:00 pm est.
|Team Batting Totals||34||8||11||7||1||1||1||2||8||0||0||0||4||3||1||27||14||2||—|