MOREHEAD, Ky. (March 13, 2019) – The West Virginia University baseball team’s win streak ended at five games with a 9-6 loss at Morehead State on Wednesday afternoon at Allen Field, in Morehead, Kentucky.
In the final game of the two-game series, the Mountaineers (10-6) jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but the Eagles (11-5) responded with a five-run bottom of the second inning and added three more in the third.
WVU’s six runs came on eight hits, while MSU scored its nine runs on 10 hits. West Virginia committed three errors, which lead to two unearned runs, and Morehead State had one error.
“Today was the exact opposite of yesterday,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “Yesterday we played well in every facet of the game, pitching hitting and defense. Today we didn’t play well in any facet, pitching, hitting or defense. It just goes to show you have to show up and play every game. If you don’t, everybody on your schedule can beat you, and that’s what happened today.”
Junior first baseman Marques Inman led the team with three hits and hit his third home run of the season in the first inning. Senior catcher Ivan Gonzalez also homered in the first, a two-run shot. He finished the day with a team-best two RBIs.
Inman’s home run was his third of the year and 12th of his career, while Gonzalez’s also was his third in 2019 and ninth of his career.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Brock Helverson made his first career start and suffered the loss to fall to 0-1 on the season. In 2.1 innings pitched, he allowed eight runs, six earned, on five hits with two strikeouts and a walk.
Gonzalez and Inman’s home runs gave WVU a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Gonzalez’s came with no outs and drove in sophomore second baseman Tyler Doanes, who led off the game with a single. Inman’s homer was a solo shot with one out.
West Virginia scored first for the 11th time this season and scored in the first inning for the sixth time this year.
The Mountaineers made it 4-0 in the top of the second, as freshman shortstop Tevin Tucker walked, stole second and scored on a throwing error.
The Eagles answered with five runs on four hits with an error in the bottom of the second to take a 5-4 lead. Two hit batters and a single loaded the bases, and a passed ball scored the first run. A two-RBI single, fielding error and two more RBI singles followed.
In the third, an error helped load the bases before a walk, groundout and single added to MSU’s lead to make it 8-4. Senior lefty Zach Reid came in and gave up the RBI single before Gonzalez caught a runner stealing and a strikeout ended the inning.
WVU cut the deficit to 8-5 in the top of the fourth, as Doanes drove in junior center fielder Brandon White with a sacrifice fly. White reached on a walk, and got into scoring position via steals of second and third.
However, Morehead State answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the fourth to take a 9-5 lead on an RBI double. Freshman right-hander Gabe Kurtzhals entered the game with the bases loaded and got the final out of the inning with a lineout to right to strand the maximum.
Inman singled in the top of the fifth, but was stranded at second, and Kurtzhals and freshman right-hander Ryan Bergert pitched a scoreless bottom half. Bergert came in with two down and walked one to load the bases, but got a popup to end the inning and keep WVU within four.
Both teams left a runner on in the sixth inning, and the Mountaineers added a run in the seventh to cut MSU’s lead to three, at 9-6. Senior right fielder Darius Hill doubled with one out and advanced to third on an Inman single. He scored to make it 9-6 on a wild pitch, but back-to-back groundouts ended the inning.
Junior right-hander Dillon Meadows faced the minimum in the seventh, thanks to a spectacular diving catch by White in right-center. Sprinting over from near left-center, White dove to make the catch before he fired to first to easily double off the runner, who had rounded second and was nearing third.
West Virginia threatened in the eighth, as a walk and a single put two on, but a double play ended the inning.
Meadows struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth inning before WVU was retired in order in the ninth.
West Virginia concludes its spring break roadtrip with a weekend series at William & Mary, from March 15-17, in Williamsburg, Virginia. First pitch on Friday, March 15, is at 6 p.m. ET, followed by a 4 p.m. contest on Saturday. The series at Plumeri Park wraps up on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Press Release Credit: WVU Athletics Communications
Photo Credit: Jeff Ruff, BGS