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Three-run ninth inning saves WVU in comeback win over Ohio State

Austin Davis capped off a three-run ninth inning, with a walk-off RBI single, giving West Virginia a 7-6 win in the second game of their doubleheader.

What started out as a pitcher’s duel in the second game of a doubleheader between West Virginia and Ohio State turned into a back-and-forth offensive affair late at Monongalia County Ballpark. 

Through the first five innings, it looked like one run would win the game. Both West Virginia starter Ben Hampton and Ohio State started Nate Haberthier were dominant through the first half of the game. 

Neither team had scored through five innings, and after Hampton retired the side in the sixth, the Mountaineer offense was able to manufacture three runs. It started with Austin Davis singling through the left side, before reaching second on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. 

Davis’ antics would continue to distract Haberthier, with him having to step off the mound multiple times with Davis on second base. Haberthier then missed a pitch, with JJ Wetherholt grooving a home run over the left field fence, putting the Mountaineers in front, 2-0. 

Victor Scott would put the Mountaineers up 3-0, all by himself. Scott singled and then stole second and third, before coming home on a wild pitch. 

Hampton would be pulled in the seventh, after allowing the first two runners to reach base on back-to-back hits. Hampton would be pulled for Chase Smith who retired one batter and who was then replaced by Jake Watters. 

Watters got a strikeout for the second out of the inning, but then Ohio State was able to get back-to-back two strike hits. Tyler Pettorini doubled to score two runs, followed by Marcus Ernst hitting a ball to West Virginia second baseman Mikey Kluska who could not field it cleanly, allowing Pettorini to score from second, tying the game at three. 

With runners on second and third, and the game tied in the bottom of the seventh, West Virginia’s Tevin Tucker stepped to the plate. Tucker, who was out all of last year due to injury had only gotten two hits in 12 games played this season. 

Tucker originally failed to get the bunt down on a suicide squeeze, getting Tyler Cox out at home. With two outs and now a runner on third, Tucker hit a single up the middle, scoring the runner from third, and giving the Mountaineers the lead, at 4-3. 

However, Watters would then again run into trouble in the eighth inning. Watters retired the first batter he face, before the second batter of the inning would reach on an error by Tucker. Watters then walked the next batter, before Ohio State’s Brent Todys would make Watters pay for his mistakes. 

Todys hit a double into the right-center field gap, plating both runners and putting the Buckeyes back in front. 

Watters’ day finished with him pitching just one inning, allowing three runs, on three hits. 

West Virginia would go down in order in the eighth inning, before Ohio State would add another run in the ninth inning, on consecutive wild pitches.

The Mountaineers would answer, scoring three runs, with Nathan Blasick hitting a two-run single. Pinch runner Ben Abernathy then stole second and third, before Davis knocked him home and sent the Mountaineers to a win.

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