The West Virginia Mountaineers (17-11) and the Pitt Panthers (8-19) battled it out for bragging rights in the 196th edition of the Backyard Brawl Wednesday night at Monongalia County Ballpark. The Mountaineers fought their way to a 5-4 win, making it five straight over the Panthers.
Pitt jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the second inning after West Virginia starting pitcher Nick Snyder beaned back-to-back Panthers, then Andres Antonini drooped an RBI single into shallow leftfield.
In the bottom of the inning, Kevin Brophy ignited a record 3,387 Mountaineer fans, going opposite field for a two-run homerun into the Pitt bullpen and giving WVU a 2-1 lead.
Later in the inning with two outs and Tevin Tucker standing at second, Austin Davis singled into left field scoring Tucker and Tyler Doanes brings in Davis smacking a deep line drive into left-centerfield for a Double.
Nick Snyder night ended after five innings, only giving up the one run and had five strikeouts to sustain a 4-1 Mountaineer lead.
Dylan Meadows took the mound in the sixth and with two outs and two on, Bryce O-Farrell tied the game driving the ball down the line for a three-run homerun.
“It’s college baseball. Any game can flip on the drop of the hat.” Said head coach Randy Mazey after the game. “We go with a walk and a hit batter and all of a sudden a three-run homer and all of a sudden it’s a game again and we thought we had it under control.”
Pitt threatened to take the lead in the seventh after freshmen Zach Ottinger gave up a lead-off triple to Gregory Ryan Jr. However, Ottinger locked in and struck out two and ending the inning on a line drive to leftfield, keeping the Panthers off the board.
“Momentum goes back and forth during a baseball game from dugout to dugout a lot.” Explained Mazey. “When they hit the homer, they grabbed it. Then they get a lead-off triple and we got a guy (Ottinger) on the mound that hasn’t pitched in that situation much, but boy did he get good when he needed to get good.”
Darius Hill got things going for West Virginia leading off the eighth inning with a stand-up double. Paul McIntosh moved Hill to third on a high chopper to third, then Kevin Brophy brought in the winning run on a sacrifice fly to rightfield as Darius Hill slid into home head first safely for the 5-4 lead.
“He’s (Brophy) come up really, really big for us in big situations for us like that. That’s not the first time he’s done that” Boasted Mazey.
West Virginia closer Sam Kessler took the hill in the ninth and shut down the Panthers, striking out two and ending the inning grounding out Sky Duff for the one-run victory.
What a great night.” Said Mazey after the game. “Record setting crowd. We put a good product on the field. Our kids are fun to watch, we run, we smash baseballs, pitchers attack the zone and great competition. Pitt came out here and gave us all we could handle tonight. We’ve had a tendency here to score runs late in the game, in our park, and this is starting to turn into pretty big home-field advantage, and the crowd had a lot do with that tonight.”
The Mountaineers head to Stillwater to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys for a three-game series with the first pitch on Friday at 7:05 pm est.
|Team Batting Totals||25||5||8||5||2||0||1||4||9||1||1||0||—||6||2||3||27||10||1|