MORGANTOWN, W.Va.– Freshman right-hander Michael Grove was dominant as the West Virginia University baseball team defeated Maryland 4-1 on a rainy Tuesday night at Monongalia County Ballpark.
After nearly an hour rain delay, Grove took the mound and locked in. He pitched 6.2 innings, surrendering one run on six hits.
The Wheeling native struck out 13 Terrapins (25-22).
“I saw 13 guys step into the box and walk back to the dugout without making contact, so that was really, really good after giving up two hard hits in the first inning,” head coach Randy Mazey said. “I was starting to think, oh my goodness these guys might be seeing it pretty well tonight, but he bounced back and pitched really well.”
Freshman right fielder Darius Hill and junior first baseman Jackson Cramer both had two hits for the Mountaineers (28-19).
Cramer hit his seventh home run of the season in the bottom of the fourth to give WVU a 2-1 lead.
Maryland jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Grove issued a leadoff walk to Madison Nickens and he advanced to second on shortstop Jimmy Galusky’s error. Kevin Biondic’s single to right field plated Nickens.
But that lead didn’t last long and the Mountaineers answered in the bottom half of the inning. Hill reached on shortstop Kevin Smith’s fielding error. The freshman outfielder stole second and advanced to third courtesy of a balk. Freshman Ivan Vera drove in Hill with a fly ball to center field to tie the game.
The Big 12 Player of the Week gave WVU its first lead of the day with a bomb over the right field wall.
The Mountaineers added insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings.
Freshman Kyle Gray singled through the right side, scoring Guerrini from third.
In the bottom of the eighth, freshman Braden Zarbnisky reached on an error and went to third on Hill’s base hit. Once again, Vera came through and his sacrifice fly to center field drove home Zarbnisky and gave WVU a 4-1 advantage.
The Mountaineers have won a season-high six straight games.
WVU will conclude its home schedule with a three-game series against William & Mary May 13-15. Friday night will feature a double header, starting at 4 p.m. (ET). The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET).