MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 11, 2020) – The West Virginia University baseball team earned a 7-0 win over Liberty on Wednesday afternoon at Monongalia County Ballpark.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Tyler Strechay allowed just two hits in 5.2 innings pitched, tallying three strikeouts and earning the victory on the mound. The Mountaineers recorded seven runs on eight hits, while the Flames finished with no runs on five hits.
With the win, WVU extended its home, midweek win streak to 14 games, dating back to April 3, 2017.
“It’s pretty hard to lose when the other team doesn’t score,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “That’s a couple midweek games in a row now that (Tyler) Strechay has gone out there and pitched really well. He’s settling into that role a little bit, and he’s getting a little bit better as he’s doing it. I thought his stuff today was better than it was last midweek game, so, that’s encouraging that he’s getting a little bit better as we go.”
After the Mountaineers (11-5) left runners on second and third in the bottom of the first, the squad tallied three runs in the second to take an early advantage. First, redshirt senior outfielder Braden Zarbnisky singled to right field, scoring junior catcher Paul McIntosh. From there, sophomore outfielder Austin Davis forced a bases-loaded walk, before an RBI sacrifice fly off the bat of junior infielder Tyler Doanes made it 3-0.
In all, WVU scored three runs on just one hit in the frame.
Strechay, meanwhile, retired seven Flames (10-7) in a row between the third and fifth innings. In the bottom of the fifth, WVU made it 5-0 when freshman catcher/infielder Matt McCormick laced a two-run single to left, scoring senior infielder Kevin Brophy and redshirt sophomore catcher/outfielder Vince Ippoliti.
In the top of the sixth, the West Virginia defense went to work, issuing a double play on a ground ball to first. From there, freshman right-handed pitcher Skylar Gonzalez relieved Strechay out of the bullpen, closing the book on the freshman starter’s second consecutive scoreless outing. Gonzalez, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, retired the only batter he faced.
Redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Dillon Meadows struck out a pair in a clean seventh inning, before sophomore righty Madison Jeffrey pitched a scoreless eighth.
WVU brought two more runs home in the bottom half, as Zarbnisky registered a sacrifice fly and Davis doubled down the left-field line, scoring another run. With a seven-run lead, redshirt freshman right-handed pitcher Noah Short finished the job in the ninth, helping the Mountaineers stay a perfect 3-0 at home this season.
Davis finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs in the win, while McCormick went 2-for-2 with two RBIs, two walks and two runs scored. Zarbnisky also drove in two.
With the victory, the Mountaineers recorded their fourth shutout of the 2020 campaign and now hasn’t allowed a run at home in 21 consecutive innings.
Next up, West Virginia travels to Lubbock, Texas, to begin Big 12 Conference play at No. 2 Texas Tech, from March 13-15. First pitch at the Red Raiders’ Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park is set for 7:30 p.m. ET, on Friday, 3 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS
Press Release: WVU Athletics Communications