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Offensive surge lifts Mountaineers past Butler, completes series sweep

Photo by WVU Sports
Photo by WVU Sports

MORGANTOWN, W.Va– The Mountaineers’ bats came to life on Sunday afternoon as they completed the three-game sweep with a 12-4 victory over Butler at Monongalia County Ballpark.

West Virginia improved to 21-12 on the season, scoring 12 runs and 16 hits with one error.

The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 13-21. Butler scored four runs on eight hits with two errors.

KC Huth continued his hot streak at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three runs, three RBIs, two doubles, a home run and one walk. The junior center fielder went 9-for-13 this weekend with six RBIs.

“KC has been playing really well,” head coach Randy Mazey said. “He missed all of fall practice with an injury and getting him back in the lineup now at the halfway point, he is catching fire. He’s always been a great defensive player.”

Justin Fox, Kyle Davis, Jackson Cramer and Garrett Hope had two hits apiece for the Mountaineers. Fox drove in two runs and scored two runs.

The senior third baseman Fox hit a solo home run in the first over the left center field fence to give the Mountaineers a 1-0 lead. Davis and Cramer then hit back-to-back doubles to increase the lead to 2-0.

Freshman Tucker Cascadden notched his first career RBI with a single in the bottom of the second when he drove Huth to make it 3-0.

An error in the bottom of the third proved costly for Butler. Cramer led off the inning with a single to right field. Then Shaun Wood reached on a throwing error by the Bulldogs’ second baseman Cole Malloy. Huth homered to left center to give the Mountaineers a 6-0 lead.

The Mountaineers added another run in the fourth when catcher Ray Guerrini singled home Fox.

West Virginia loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fifth and scored four runs on three hits to make it 11-0, which included by RBI singles from Hope and Davis.

Tony Strassier scored the final run in the bottom of the eighth when a double by Kyle Casserly drove him in from first.

Sophomore right-hander Chad Donato earned his fifth win. He tossed six innings, surrendering one run on four hits and struck out a career-high 10 batters.

“The 10 strikeouts of course,” Mazey said of what he liked from Donato today. “He wasn’t as sharp as he normally is. He walked four guys today and he’s only had four walks this entire season coming into today. His next time out is going to be against the Sooners, so he’s going to have to be a lot sharper to beat them because they’re a really good team.”

Butler starter Nick Morton suffered his fourth loss. He gave up 11 runs, seven earned, on 12 hits. Tyler Houston and Chris Maranto both had two hits for the Bulldogs.

The attendance for Sunday’s game was 1,647 fans, making a three-game total of 6,968 for the weekend. This is the largest attendance for a weekend series in Morgantown.

“What great crowds this weekend,” Mazey said. “The atmosphere was unbelievable. Everybody did a tremendous job from concessions to facilities and the way everything was run. Our kids were really, really appreciative of the fans coming out and supporting us.”

West Virginia returns to action against Penn State on Tuesday, April 14, at Monongalia County Ballpark at 6 p.m. The game has been designated as a “Dollar Day” with all tickets and select concessions available for $1 each.

Shanna Rose
WVU Graduate with a bachelor's in journalism and multimedia journalist. Sports Fan and sports writer. Former WVU News reporter. Contact Shanna on Twitter @SMR1837
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