Saturday, October 21, 2017

WVU falls to Charlotte in season opener

CHARLOTTE–The West Virginia University baseball team overcame an early deficit but fell 6-3 to Charlotte in the season opener on Friday afternoon.

The Mountaineers (0-1) trailed 2-0 early but scored two in the fifth inning to tie the game and took a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh. Nonetheless, the 49ers (1-0) answered with four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

B.J. Myers tossed 6.1 innings, allowing four runs on six hits while suffering the loss. He struck out three and did not walk a batter.

His mound opponent Colton Laws pitched 6.0 innings and allowed a pair of runs on six hits. Jonah Patten pitched a scoreless ninth inning for Charlotte, earning his first save of the year.

Junior left fielder Kyle Davis went 1-for-5 with a two-run homer. Sophomore center fielder Braden Zarbnisky had two hits and one RBI. Sophomore Cole Austin led WVU with a career-high three hits, his eighth career multi-hit game.

T.J. Nitching went 3-for-4 and scored three runs for the 49ers. Jackson Mims had three hits and two RBI.

Nitching singled up the middle and scored on Mims double to give Charlotte a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second.

The 49ers tacked on another run in the bottom of the fourth.

The Mountaineers answered in the top of the fifth. Zarbnisky singled and scored on a two-run blast to left field by Davis, tying the game at 2-2.

Myers tossed a 1-2-3 bottom half of the fifth and sixth, setting WVU up to take the lead in the seventh.

Jimmy Galusky singled and scored on Zarbnisky’s double to left center giving the Mountaineers a 3-2 advantage.

Nitching led off the bottom of the seventh with a double and scored on Harris Yett’s fielder’s choice, ending Myers’ afternoon. Charlotte added on one more when Hunter Jones’ base hit drove in Yett, giving the 49ers a 4-3 lead.

WVU dipped into its bullpen, replacing Jackson Sigman with Jacob Potock. Brett Netzer’s single off Potock knocked in two more runs, giving Charlotte a 6-3 lead.

The two teams square off on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Game 2 of the three-game series.

Cover Photo Credit: WVUsports.com

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