MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (May 16, 2021) – The West Virginia University baseball team earned a two-game sweep over Dayton in Sunday’s doubleheader at Monongalia County Ballpark in Morgantown. The Mountaineers topped the Flyers, 7-6, in Game 1, before tallying a 12-6 win in Game 2.
Both games were played in seven innings.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Carlson Reed earned the win in Sunday’s opener, his fourth of the year, while freshman infielder/right-handed pitcher Ben Abernathy registered his second win of the campaign in Game 2. Additionally, sophomore right-hander Skylar Gonzalez was credited with a save in Game 1.
“I think we played pretty well this weekend because we played with little-to-no pressure on ourselves, but the games coming up are going to determine if we’re a postseason team,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “The fact that we did play with little-to-no pressure on us, the guys were laughing more in the dugout, and nobody was upset about anything, and we played pretty well. It’s amazing that you seem to play better that way.”
WVU (22-23) started the day in a 1-0 hole in Game 1, before a five-run fourth helped the squad grab a lead. After senior infielder Tyler Doanes recorded an RBI groundout to tie the game, junior outfielder Austin Davis hit a two-run single to right. Two batters later, it was senior catcher/outfielder Paul McIntosh’s turn to grab a pair of RBI on a double to right center.
The Mountaineers added to their lead in the fifth when Doanes hit an RBI single, before McIntosh tallied a sacrifice fly in the sixth to make it 7-1. However, Dayton (18-25) wasn’t done just yet. The Flyers scored five runs in the top of the seventh to cut the deficit to one and got the go-ahead run into scoring position with two outs. But Gonzalez was there to get the final out of the contest on a strikeout to secure the win.
Reed allowed just one run on five hits with five strikeouts in 5.0 innings for WVU. At the plate, McIntosh tallied three RBI, while Davis and Doanes each had two. Sophomore catcher/infielder Matt McCormick led the way with three doubles, the first Mountaineer to accomplish the feat since Jackson Cramer on Feb. 25, 2017.
Later, West Virginia tallied multiple-run innings four times in Game 2 to complete the two-game sweep. The hosts scored three runs in the second, two in the fourth, three in the fifth and four in the sixth.
Trailing, 2-0, Doanes hit a two-run double to tie the game in the bottom of the second, moments before Davis’ single to right gave WVU a 3-2 lead.
UD struck for two in the top of the third, but the Mountaineers responded with a pair in the fourth, thanks to two hit batters with the bases loaded. From there, redshirt sophomore catcher/outfielder Vince Ippoliti hit a sacrifice fly and Davis hit a two-run double to give West Virginia an 8-4 lead after five innings.
That led to a two-run homer off the bat of freshman infielder/designated hitter Nathan Blasick, an RBI double from Ippoliti and an RBI groundout by Doanes in the bottom of the sixth to extend the lead even further.
Dayton scored a pair in the top of the seventh to make it 12-6 but could draw no closer.
On the mound, redshirt sophomore right-hander Daniel Ouderkirk made his first career start, allowing two runs on two hits with three strikeouts in 1.2 innings of work. In the middle innings, junior left-hander Beau Lowery (1.1 IP) and Abernathy (2.1 IP) combined to throw 3.2, hitless frames with four strikeouts.
Davis and Doanes each recorded three more RBI in Game 2 and finished with five apiece on the day, while sophomore outfielder Victor Scott and Ippoliti each enjoyed multi-hit performances in Sunday’s finale. With the results, the Mountaineers extended their win streak to a season-high five games and improved to 4-1 all-time against the Flyers.
Sunday’s doubleheader marked the conclusion of a season-long, 12-game homestand for WVU. It also marked the final home games of the season for West Virginia. The squad finished 15-12 at Monongalia County Ballpark this spring.
Next up, the Mountaineers finish the 2021 regular season with a three-game, Big 12 series at Texas, from May 20-22, in Austin, Texas.