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Strong Bullpen Performance Helps WVU Rally Past Coastal Carolina

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–The West Virginia University baseball team came from behind to defeat Coastal Carolina on Saturday afternoon at Monongalia County Ballpark.

Trailing 4-0, the Mountaineers scored five unanswered runs to complete the rally. WVU scored five runs on seven hits and the Chanticleers (11-6) plated four runs on eight hits.

Freshman right-hander Ben Abernathy earned the win on the mound, the first of his career. The Mountaineers’ bullpen held CCU hitless for the final five innings of the game. Junior righty Madison Jeffrey finished the job, earning his second save of the season.

Teddy Sharkey suffered the loss for the Chanticleers.

“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.”

In the top of the first inning, CCU jumped out to a 2-0 lead when Eric Brown went deep to left field. The Chanticleers tacked on another run in the third. Then Cooper Weiss homered in the fourth to give CCU a 4-0 lead.

However, the Mountaineers refused to get down and fought their way back. In the bottom of the fourth, freshman outfielder Braden Barry drove in WVU’s first run to cut the deficit to 4-1.

During the next inning, first baseman Hudson Byorick’s RBI groundout made it a two-run contest.

WVU scored three runs in the seventh to take the lead. A throwing error from the Chanticleers allowed the Mountaineers to tie the game 4-4. Senior Paul McIntosh grounded into a double play but Victor Scott managed to score the winning run.

Then WVU’s bullpen finished the job. Six relievers worked together to earn the win. 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 the job done.

Scott went 2-for-3 and scored a run. Freshman catcher McGwire Holbrook had two hits. Byorick led the club with two RBI.

The Mountaineers and CCU play the finale on Sunday afternoon at 12 p.m.

Cover Photo Credit: Dale Sparks, WVU

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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