On a sunny Sunday afternoon, the West Virginia Mountaineers (9-5) get the series sweep over the Kent State Golden Flashes (4-10) with a 9-7 win. WVU was able to hold off KSU behind nine hits, in their biggest offensive performance of the season.
“The offense hasn’t been clicking but we’re showing signs of starting to do that.” Said West Virginia head coach Randy Mazey after the game. “Pitching and defense had kept us in a lot of games, while we’re waiting for the offense to come. We’re getting indications now the offense is coming. We knew it was going to happen. We got good hitters in the lineup.”
The Mountaineers scored the games first run in the bottom of the second inning. Ivan Gonzalez singled into left, then proceeded to steal second base and advanced to third on a fielding error by shortstop Josh Hollander. Kevin Brophy brought home Gonzalez on a deep sacrifice fly to left field.
Tyler Doanes made it 2-0 with a solo line-drive homerun, his first of the year, over the left field fence in the third.
Kent State’s bats woke up in the fourth when Pete Schuler and Nick Elsen hit solo homers over left field. Then, back-to-back singles from Pavin Parks and Lian O’Brien setup Kevin Dobos for a sacrifice fly to centerfield as the Golden Flashes took a 3-2 lead.
West Virginia tied the game up in the bottom of the inning on a Kevin Brophy deep fly ball to left-centerfield scoring Ivan Gozalez; however, Brophy was tagged out at third trying to stretch a double into a triple.
The Mountaineers regained the lead in the fifth after Austin Davis singled up the middle and Tyler Doanes smacked an RBI doubled off the left-centerfield wall.
West Virginia starting pitcher Kade Strowd had his day ended in the sixth after giving up a double and followed it up with a walk. He ended the day with five strikeouts.
“He’s given us a good outing every time out.” Boasted Mazey. “This wasn’t a terribly easy day to pitch, with the wind blowing out so hard to left field. You don’t normally hit that many homers at this field but on a day that’s not that easy to pitch, I thought he hung in there pretty well and had good stuff, they just had a pretty good approach against him. They hit the ball pretty well today too.”
Freshman Ryan Bergert came in for relief but couldn’t get out of the inning unscathed.
O’Brien loaded the bases for the Golden Flashes on a bunt down the third base line, then consecutive sacrifice flies to left field for Dobos and Greg Lewandowski put Kent State back on top 5-4.
The Mountaineers wouldn’t be outdone. Marcus Inman reached first base on an errant throw by third baseman Pavin Parks. Followed by a walk from Gonzalez. Then with one out, Kevin Brophy stepped up to the plate and delivered a three-run homerun over the left-centerfield wall. WVU wasn’t done.
Tevin Tucker and Austin Davis drew walks and with them sitting at second and third, Tyler Doanes hit a hard ground ball into the gap that Josh Hollander knocked down but couldn’t make the play as Davis scored from third. Brandon White brought in Davis on a sacrifice fly to centerfield capping off a five-run inning.
In the last two games against Kent State, the Mountaineers scored 10 runs in the sixth inning.
“That’s really nice to know that sixth through ninth inning we score most of our runs, but it sure doesn’t help my stress level. Sitting there waitin and waitin and waitin.” Said Mazey. “There’s been several games where we get into the sixth inning with only a hit or two and you’re wondering why it takes so long. But, you know, good hitters they need to see pitches. The statistics say the more pitches you see over the course of the game the better hitter you’re going to be, and we have good hitters and that applies.”
Kent State’s Nick Elsen hit his second homerun of the game in the seventh inning with a two-run blast over the left foul pole cutting the Mountaineer lead to two, 9-7.
Freshman reliever Phillip Dull found himself in some trouble in the eighth after walking two and Mazey would go to his bullpen for freshmen Beau Lowery.
Beau closed the inning untouched and Sam Kessler took the mound in the ninth and closed the game out for the Mountaineers.
|Team Batting Totals||28||9||9||9||2||0||2||5||3||1||2||1||—||4||5||1||27||7||1|