MANHATTAN, Kan. (May 11, 2019) – The No. 20 West Virginia University baseball team lost the middle game of the three-game series at Kansas State, 8-6, on Saturday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas.
The Mountaineers (30-18, 12-11 Big 12) trailed 5-1 after an inning, but rallied to cut the deficit to two twice, at 5-3 in the third and 8-6 in the sixth. However, the Wildcats (25-27, 8-12 Big 12) responded with a run in the third and two in the fifth and then held West Virginia to one baserunner in the final three innings.
WVU’s six runs came on six hits, while K-State’s eight runs came on nine hits. West Virginia stranded four runners on base and Kansas State left five on. Both teams committed an error.
“You give up five runs in the first inning and lose 8-6,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said.
“You just can’t give up five runs in the first and expect to crawl back into it against a team that’s playing so well.”
Sophomore left-hander Jackson Wolf suffered the loss. In 4.2 innings, he allowed eight runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and three walks. Two freshmen out of the Mountaineer bullpen followed to hold K-State to two hits in 3.1 shutout innings.
Sophomore designated hitter Paul McIntosh led the offense with two hits and two RBIs, and he and sophomore second baseman Tyler Doanes both homered. Doanes’ came on the first pitch of the game and was his fifth of the season and second in as many days, while McIntosh’s was his team-leading ninth home run of the year.
West Virginia took a 1-0 lead on the game’s first pitch, as Doanes homered to lead off the contest for the second day in a row. However, Kansas State answered in the bottom of the first to take a 5-1 lead. Terrence Spurlin hit a three-run home run, and an RBI triple and a sac fly followed.
The Mountaineers got a run back in the second, on McIntosh’s leadoff homer, and Wolf pitched a scoreless bottom half. WVU added another in the third to make it 5-3, as freshman shortstop Tevin Tucker scored from third on a wild pitch. He led off the frame with a single, took second on a balk and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
K-State answered with a run in the bottom of the third, on a leadoff home run by Spurlin, to extend its lead to 6-3. The Wildcats made it an 8-3 game in the fifth on a two-run home run by Chris Ceballos with two outs. Freshman right-hander Ryan Bergert then relieved Wolf and got a strikeout to end the inning.
WVU responded right back with three in the sixth to cut the deficit back to two, at 8-6. Junior center fielder Brandon White led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on a single through the right side by senior right fielder Darius Hill. Junior first baseman Marques Inman followed with an infield single that scored White, and McIntosh then doubled down the right-field line to bring home Hill. Inman scored the inning’s final run on a throwing error following a lineout.
Bergert held Kansas State scoreless in the sixth and got the first two outs in the seventh before giving up an infield single, the first hit allowed in his 2.0 innings. Freshman righty Madison Jeffrey relieved Bergert and got a groundout to end the frame.
West Virginia left a runner on in the eighth after a two-out walk, and Bergert got a popup and a flyout to end the eighth inning with two on and one out.
In the ninth, the Mountaineers were retired in order to end the game.
The series concludes on Sunday, at noon ET.
Cover Photo Credit:Shanna Rose, BGS
Press Release Credit: WVU Athletics Communications