MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 20, 2021) – The West Virginia University baseball team trailed by as many as four runs before scoring five unanswered to claim a 5-4 win over Coastal Carolina on Saturday afternoon at Monongalia County Ballpark.
Down, 4-0, the Mountaineers plated a run in the fourth and fifth and three in the seventh to earn the come-from-behind victory. WVU finished with five runs on seven hits with two errors, while CCU tallied four runs on eight hits with two errors.
Freshman utility/right-handed pitcher Ben Abernathy earned the win on the mound, the first of his career, leading the way in a dominant effort by the WVU bullpen. The Mountaineers held the Chanticleers hitless for the final five innings of the game to aid in the comeback bid. Junior right-handed pitcher Madison Jeffrey finished the job, earning his second save of the campaign.
Coastal’s Teddy Sharkey took the loss.
“We were extremely resilient,” WVU assistant coach Steve Sabins said. “They’ve been resilient the entire season. They’ve stayed tough and just continue to prove that. I think questioning whether they are in the game or want to win is out the door at this point.
“I think we have a really good group of kids that are learning how to compete and learning how to win. But they want to compete and want to win, and that’s the most important thing.”
Coastal Carolina (11-6) took a quick, 2-0 lead with a two-run homer in the top of the first. The visitors added a run in the top of the third, before a solo homer in the fourth gave CCU a 4-0 advantage.
From there, though, West Virginia (8-6) began to claw back. In the bottom of the fourth, freshman outfielder Braden Barry drove in WVU’s first run to cut the deficit to three. Then, fifth-year senior first baseman/outfielder Hudson Byorick’s RBI groundout in the fifth made it 4-2.
WVU scored three runs in the seventh to grab the lead. First, two runs scored when Byorick reached on a CCU throwing error, which tied the game at 4. Moments later, senior catcher/outfielder Paul McIntosh put a ball in play, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
The lead held, marking WVU’s first win over the Chanticleers since Feb. 27, 2017. In all, CCU leads the all-time series, 11-5.
After sophomore left-handed pitcher Jake Carr lasted 1.1 innings, WVU used six relievers to string together the rest of the ballgame on the mound. The combination of redshirt sophomore right-hander Daniel Ouderkirk (1.1 IP), sophomore right-hander Skylar Gonzalez (2.1 IP), Abernathy (2.0 IP), sophomore righty Tim Wynia (0.1 IP), freshman lefty Ben Hampton (0.2) and Jeffrey (1.0 IP) got WVU to the finish line.
Of note, Coastal’s final hit of the game came in the fourth inning.
At the plate, sophomore outfielder Victor Scott finished 2-for-3 with a run scored, while freshman catcher McGwire Holbrook also tallied a pair of hits. Byorick led the club with two RBI.
Next up, the Mountaineers close out the weekend series with Coastal Carolina on Sunday afternoon at Monongalia County Ballpark. First pitch of the rubber match is set for 12 p.m. ET.
Press Release Courtesy of West Virginia University Athletics Communications