LAS VEGAS– Ross Vance tossed a gem as the West Virginia University baseball team got an offensive surge to defeat UNLV 13-1 on Saturday afternoon.
Vance (2-0) tossed seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits. The senior southpaw had eight strikeouts.
“Ross Vance was really good, that was as good as I’ve seen him,” head coach Randy Mazey said. “He kept the ball down, and we played really good defense again. Our defense in the infield has been spectacular. It was good to get some guys off the bench today, and they all did something positive, which is good to see. We have the type of team we can get production out of anybody.”
Vance’s approach to slowing the fastball hitting Rebels (1-4) was just bringing his other pitches.
“All my off speed was working pretty well,” he said. “I knew they were a fastball hitting team so I knew I had to have my secondary working and that was really what I was concerned about. Getting that over the plate and kept them off balance.”
WVU (4-1) scored 13 runs on 17 hits by 10 different players.
Freshman Darius Hill led the Mountaineers offense with three hits for the second consecutive day. The right fielder knocked in three RBI and scored two runs.
Senior KC Huth had three hits, including a leadoff home run in the eighth inning for WVU.
Freshman Cole Austin has had a hit in each of his first five games as a Mountaineer. The second baseman had two hits and four RBI on Saturday.
Austin’s second hit was a three run bomb that ended a five run eighth.
Back-to-back singles by Huth and freshman Kyle Gray, who then pulled off a double steal, started the third inning. Sophomore third baseman Kyle Davis walked to load the bases. Hill drove a two-run base hit up the middle to give WVU a 2-0 lead.
Justin Jones homered off Vance in the bottom of the fourth to make it a 2-1 UNLV deficit.
Davis responded with solo shot in the bottom of the fifth to give the Mountaineers a 3-1 lead. Hill doubled and scored on Austin’s double.
WVU wasn’t done there. Designated hitter Shaun Corso doubled to left and scored a batter later on Huth’s single.
The Mountaineers tacked on a run in the seventh when catcher Ray Guerrini’s sacrifice fly scored Davis.
WVU scored five in the eighth and one in the ninth when freshman Marques Inman drove in his first career RBI on a sacrifice fly.
Dean Kremer lasted just 5.1 innings for the Rebels. He gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits. He struck out seven and walked one.
The Mountaineers will look to sweep the series on Sunday afternoon. Game time is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. (ET).
Quotes Courtesy of WVUsports.com