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Watters’ strong start propels WVU to doubleheader and series sweep

In the final game of the series, WVU was able to dominate the Youngstown State Penguins by a score of 13-2 and complete the three-game sweep.  

After a 9-3 victory in game one of the doubleheader, the Mountaineers completed the doubleheader sweep and the series sweep of the Penguins on Friday evening.

The story of the game was WVU starting pitcher Jacob Watters. Watters did not allow a hit while pitching and put his team in a great position to win the game. 

In the first inning of play, the Mountaineers got things started with a bunt single down the third base line by JJ Wetherholt. Wetherholt stole second base and after a walk from Victor Scott, WVU was threatening. 

Wetherholt and Scott took second and third base on a double-steal, and Wetherholt scored the first run of the game when Youngstown State threw the ball away. West Virginia added a second run when Grant Hussey hit a sacrifice fly to score Scott, and after one inning, WVU led 2-0. 

After a second scoreless inning from WVU starting pitcher Jacob Watters, the Mountaineers added to their early lead. Mikey Kluska brought home Evan Smith with an RBI groundout and WVU led 3-0 after two innings. 

WVU broke open its lead in the third inning when Youngstown State got sloppy in the field. Austin Davis got things started with an infield single and he advanced to second on a throwing error. Davis advanced to third after a balk and came around to score on another fielding error. 

Vince Ippoliti brought home a run with a single to right center to make it a 5-0 ball game. After the Ippoliti single, the Mountaineers scored off another Youngstown State error. After three innings, WVU led 6-0 and Youngstown State had committed five errors. 

WVU starter Jacob Watters had a tremendous game, throwing five scoreless innings with five strikeouts and didn’t allow the Penguins to get a base hit. 

Youngstown State got on the board after Watters exited the game. Lucas Nasonti singled to start the top of the sixth inning and he was brought home on a Braeden O’Shaugnessy triple to put the Penguins on the board. 

Youngstown State scored again when Andre Good reached on a fielder’s choice, which brought home Braeden O’Shaugnessy to make it a 6-2 game heading into the bottom of the sixth. 

WVU had a huge bottom of the sixth inning, and it started when JJ Wetherholt came up with the bases loaded. Wetherholt gave the ball a ride and it hit off the wall in center field. All three runners came around to score and WVU extended its lead to 9-2. 

After the Wetherholt double, WVU scored two more runs on a wild pitch and a bases-loaded walk. After the walk, Evan Smith doubled in two more runs and WVU took an 11-2 lead into the seventh. 

No more runs were scored after the sixth inning, and the Mountaineers went on to win by the score of 11-2.  

Grant Hussey talked about what the sweep meant for the team. 

“Any win’s a good win, it doesn’t matter who it is,” Hussey said. “It’ll allow us to roll right into Big 12 play.” 

WVU now improves its record to 13-8 and will be back in action at Marshall on Tuesday, Mar. 29 at 3 p.m. 

Photo by Wesley Shoemaker

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