LAWRENCE, Kan.–West Virginia University pitcher Chad Donato and Kansas starter Ben Krauth locked in on a pitcher’s duel but the Mountaineers muscled home one run and defeated the Jayhawks 1-0 on Friday night at Hoglund Ballpark.
Donato (1-2) tossed seven scoreless frames, surrendering five hits and striking out five. He walked one batter.
Krauth (1-4) pitched eight innings, giving up one run on three hits. The senior lefty fanned a career-high 12 batters and walked four.
Senior center fielder KC Huth went 2-for-3 and freshman shortstop Jimmy Galusky had one hit and drove in the Mountaineers’ lone run.
“We’d lost four in a row, so to come out here tonight and get in a game like that, that’s a really good character-builder for our guys,” WVU head coach Randy Mazey. “A Big 12 game on the road on a Friday night and (KU starter Ben) Krauth was as good as advertised, if not better. We just found a way to grind it out.
Kansas (7-12, 0-1 Big 12) out-hit the Mountaineers (11-8, 1-3) and recorded two hits each from senior second baseman Colby Wright and senior right fielder Joe Moroney.
Junior Jackson Cramer extended his on base streak to 39 games after being struck by a pitch in the fourth.
Donato’s excellent outing earned the junior right-hander his first win of the year. Senior closer Blake Smith came in to get the final five outs of the game, earning his third save.
Huth singled through the right side in the top of the second. He advanced to second when Ray Guerrini walked. Galusky’s two-out single to left scored Huth, which would be the only run WVU needed.
The Mountaineers failed to add to their lead in the fourth and fifth innings. A double play stranded two in the fourth and Krauth got out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth when he struck out Shaun Wood.
The Jayhawks had a final shot in the ninth inning. Back-to-back singles from TJ Martin and Moroney threatened to tie the game but Smith got the next batter to fly out to end the game.
The series continues on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. (ET).