CLEMSON, S.C. (February 15, 2015) – The West Virginia University baseball team won the season-opening series at No. 24 Clemson with a 6-1 victory in Sunday’s rubber match at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
West Virginia won 2-0 in game one on Friday and fell 4-2 on Saturday before winning Sunday’s contest. It was the first season-opening home series that Clemson has lost since falling in two-of-three games against South Florida in 1996.
The Mountaineers finished with six runs on 11 hits and no errors, while Clemson scored one run on 10 hits with three errors.
In his first career start, right-hander Chad Donato (1-0) lasted 6.0 innings, allowing one run on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk for the victory. Right-hander Adam Keller gave up three hits in 2.0 innings of shutout relief and right-hander Conner Dotson pitched 1.0 inning of perfect relief in the ninth.
Shortstop Taylor Munden, second baseman Shaun Corso, left fielder Kyle Davis and center fielder KC Huth had two hits apiece to lead WVU at the plate. Corso added two RBI and first baseman Jackson Cramer drew two walks.
Corso gave the Mountaineers a 1-0 lead in the second inning with his first career home run, a solo blast over the left center field fence.
Donato cruised through the first three innings before allowing runners to reach first and third with one out in the fourth inning. Donato successfully executed the third-to-first pickoff move for the second out of the inning and then induced a ground ball to strand the other runner at third base.
West Virginia extended its lead to 4-0 with three runs in the top of the fifth inning. Designated hitter Brad Johnson and Cramer reached to start off the frame, and Justin Fox came to the plate attempting to sacrifice the runners over. Fox put down the bunt and the Clemson pitcher overthrew the first baseman, allowing Fox to reach safely and Johnson to score. Davis then drove in Cramer with an RBI ground out to second base and catcher Ray Guerrini smacked an RBI single to right center field to plate Fox.
Huth’s first career hit was an RBI double down the left field line to score Davis, who had previously doubled to left field, giving WVU a 5-0 advantage.
Donato went into the seventh inning before allowing a pair of singles to start the bottom of the seventh and giving way to right-hander Adam Keller. Keller allowed an RBI single to the first batter he faced, but then got a fielder’s choice double play and a ground out to strand the runner and get out of the inning.
Corso’s second RBI of the game was in the top of the eighth when WVU brought its lead to 6-1. Corso’s two-out single plated Johnson, who led off the inning with a triple to left center field.
Despite taking the loss, Clemson starter Brody Koerner (0-1) was very effective before being pulled after four innings because of a pitch count. Koerner allowed one run on three hits with eight strikeouts and three walks.
Tyler Krieger went 3-for-3 to lead Clemson, and Reed Rohlman had one RBI. Weston Wilson added two hits.
West Virginia stays on the road next weekend at Georgia Southern from February 20-22. Friday’s game is set for 6 p.m., Saturday’s game begins at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s finale starts at 1 p.m. Links to live video and live stats will be available at WVUsports.com.