In the season finale, the No. 20 West Virginia Mountaineers (34-18) disposed of the George Washington Colonials (30-24) in a 13-2 lopsided win Saturday afternoon. WVU celebrated four seniors that would be playing their final regular season game as a Mountaineer and they made sure they went out on top.
The Mountaineers quickly got the bats going in the bottom of the first. Lead-off hitter Tyler Doanes hit a hard ground ball that hopped over third baseman Steve Barmakian’s glove for a double.
Brandon White singled on a bunt, then stole second. Darius Hill followed it up with a fly ball that dropped in the hole in centerfield, in between four Colonials, for an RBI double.
Marcus Inman ripped a deep sacrifice line-drive that brought in White for an RBI, Paul McIntosh doubled into a left field, bringing in Hill, and Ivan Gonzalez smacked a hard ground ball that went off the glove of shortstop Nate Fassnacht’s glove for an RBI infield single to cap off a four-run first inning.
George Washington got themselves within striking distance after Dom D’Alessandro crushed a two-run homerun over the leftfield wall.
In the fifth, Tevin Tucker stretched a single into a double after a line-drive base hit into left field. He took third on a wild pitch, then Tyler Doanes brought Tucker in on a sacrifice grounder over to first.
Paul McIntosh started the sixth with an infield single to third base. Ivan Gonzalez drew a walk, Andrew Zitel advanced the runners on a sacrifice bunt, then TJ Lake singled into right-center to bring in the runners, extending the WVU lead 7-2.
Darius Hill added two more in the seventh with a two-run shot that went into the Mountaineer bullpen.
The Mountaineers continued their offense in the eighth, starting off with Senior Andrew Zitel hitting a high solo-homerun down the left field line for this third of the season. Tevin Tucker followed it up with a walk and Tyler Doanes doubled down the left field line to give the Mountaineers two runners in scoring position.
Brandon White hit a ground ball to short and beat the throw to first for an RBI single. Then Darius Hill capped his day with a two RBI double into left-center to cap off a 4-4 day at the plate.
“That was pretty special.” Stated Hill. “This maybe the last time we ever play on this field. We’ve been here four years grinding every day, what better ending could you have wanted, got the win, had a great day at the plate, awesome.”
To begin the ninth inning, West Virginia head coach Randy Mazey sent his seniors, Darius Hill, Ivan Gonzalez and Andrew Zitel out onto the field. And just before play resumed, Mazey walked out to the mound and called his team in. He substituted his seniors so they could walk off the field together one last time as Mountaineer fans gave them a standing ovation.
“It was pretty special.” Said Darius Hill. “It made all the trials and tribulations everything that’s been tough about this, it made it worth it. It’s so awesome having a fan base that shows up and cares so much about us. To go out with those guys, they’ve had great times here and great careers here, it was awesome.”
“Just amazing seeing all the fans, kind of recognize most of them because of social media, and it almost brings tears, but walking off with those guys next to me is just amazing.” Said Ivan Gonzalez. “All the memories start playing in your head and the bus trips and things like that are going to stick with me the rest of my life.”
“For the seniors to go out the way they went out, Darius hitting a homerun and Zitel hitting a homerun and getting a lead and let the crowd acknowledge what those guys have done for this program for four years, I couldn’t of scripted it any better.” Said Mazey.
Mountaineer closer Sam Kessler took the hill in the ninth and finished the game out retiring three.
The Mountaineers will be back in action in Oklahoma City on Wednesday. They will open the tournament at 9:00 am against TCU.
|Team Batting Totals||39||13||19||13||6||0||2||9||6||1||1||1||14||1||1||27||8||0||—|