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Mountaineers fall to Kansas in series opener

The West Virginia baseball team dropped the series opener against the Jayhawks on Friday night by a final score of 7-3 as Kansas pitcher Daniel Hegarty tossed a complete game in the win.

The Jayhawks got things rolling right away in the bottom of the first. After the first two Kansas hitters reached base, Maui Ahuna grounded out to shortstop, driving in the first run of the game to give Kansas the early 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Kansas tacked on another run as Caleb Upshaw singled to right, driving in Dylan Ditzenberger to give the Jayhawks a 2-0 lead.

Kansas began to blow things open in the bottom of the fourth. Cooper McMurray led off the inning with a home run to right field, putting Kansas up 3-0.

The Jayhawks scored twice more in the inning as Nolan Metcalf doubled down the left field line and just like that, it was 5-0 Kansas.

West Virginia got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth as Victor Scott drove in Tevin Tucker to make it a 5-1 ballgame.

In the bottom of the fifth, Mountaineers starting pitcher Jacob Watters gave up a leadoff walk and his day came to an end. Carlson Reed came on in relief and Kansas took advantage of the leadoff walk as Sergio Rivera drove the runner in to make it a 6-1 ballgame. Watters was charged for the run and his day ended with giving up six runs on seven hits, three walks and five strikeouts in four innings pitched.

The Jayhawks tacked on another run in the bottom of the seventh on a sacrifice fly to make it a 7-1 ballgame.

The Mountaineers struck for two runs in the top of the eighth as Dayne Leonard hit a two-run homer to left field to bring West Virginia within four as it was now a 7-3 ballgame.

Kansas threatened for more in the bottom of the eighth but failed to score in a bases loaded, two-out situation.

Hegarty shut down the Mountaineers 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth and Kansas rolled past West Virginia by a final score of 7-3. Hegarty gave up three runs on eight hits, two walks and two strikeouts in the complete game effort.

The Mountaineers fall to 24-16 (7-6 Big 12) overall, while the Jayhawks improve to 18-24 (3-10 Big 12) overall.

Game two of the series takes place tomorrow afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m.

Photo by: WVU Baseball Twitter

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