AUSTIN, Texas–Darius Hill’s double in the ninth lifts the West Virginia University baseball team to a 4-3 victory over Texas on Saturday afternoon.
In the top of the ninth, Brandon White walked to start the frame. Two groundouts moved the freshman to third. With two outs, Hill doubled to left field, giving the Mountaineers (32-21) a 4-2 lead.
However, the Longhorns (32-20) responded in the bottom half. With one out, David Hamilton doubled and Kody Clemens’s RBI single cut the deficit to one. But Cole Austin’s diving stop on a hard hit ball down the line sealed the win for WVU.
Chase Illig and Braden Zarbnisky had two hits for the Mountaineers.
Jackson Sigman (5-4) picked up the win and Zarbnisky earned his team-leading sixth save.
Starting pitcher Alek Manoah tossed 4.1 solid innings. The freshman right-hander surrendered one run on three hits.
“That was the epitome of grinding out a win,” WVU head coach Randy Mazey said. “Offensively, defensively, on the mound. Some unbelievable efforts by some Mountaineers today to just suck it up and give it all you’ve got, leave it all on the field. Everybody in the lineup contributed to this win.”
Similar to Friday night, the Mountaineers struck first. Jackson Cramer led off the inning with a single up the middle and Zarbnisky walked. Then Illig blasted a double down the left field line, knocking in Cramer.
Texas tied the game in the fifth but WVU responded in the top of the sixth to regain a 2-1 lead. Illig’s single up the middle plated Zarbnisky.
The Mountaineers extended their lead to 3-1 in the seventh when Hill’s groundout scored Kyle Gray, who led off the inning with a walk.
In the bottom half, the Longhorns pulled within one on Travis Jones’ groundout.
The rubber match will be decided on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. (ET).
Cover Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS