MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Sophomore second baseman Kyle Davis hit a home run in the seventh as the West Virginia University baseball team erased a four-run deficit. But it wasn’t enough and the Mountaineers fell 8-6 to Kansas State on Friday at Monongalia County Ballpark.
WVU (17-15, 4-5 Big 12) scored four runs in the sixth and seventh to tie the game 6-6 before the Wildcats (15-19, 2-8) scored two runs in the top of the ninth.
Junior right-hander Chad Donato had a rough outing on the mound. He lasted just four innings, giving up four runs (two earned) on seven hits while walking three.
Freshman right fielder Darius Hill had three hits and one RBI.
“Things haven’t been going our way recently, but it can turn right back around just as fast,” head coach Randy Mazey said. “We have a lot to play for, it’s a big series this weekend. I’m really looking forward to (senior left-hander Ross Vance) pitching well tomorrow and giving us a chance to win.”
WVU mounted a comeback with a three-run seventh to tie the game. Davis drilled a homer down the left field line, scoring freshman shortstop Jimmy Galusky and Hill.
Senior reliever Jeff Hardy retired 11 straight batters before Tyler Moore’s leadoff walk in the ninth. The Mountaineers’ third error of the game on Tyler Wolfe’s sacrifice bunt attempt set things in motion for Josh Eithier. The junior infielder tripled to the warning track in right field to give Kansas State an 8-6 advantage.
Hardy gave up four runs (three earned) on three hits in 4.1 innings. He struck out two and walked one.
The Wildcats got on the board with a run in the first inning. Clayton Dalrymple reached on a bloop single and later scored on Moore’s two-out base hit.
WVU regained a 2-1 lead in the third. Galusky walked and scored on Hill’s two-out double. Senior center fielder KC Huth followed suite with a double down the right field line, scoring Hill.
Kansas State took the lead back in the top of the fourth with two unearned runs. Dalrymple led off the inning with a walk and an error put two runners on. Moore’s sacrifice fly gave the Wildcats a 3-2 lead.
Kansas State added three runs in the fifth to go ahead 6-2.
The Mountaineers’ rally began in the sixth after Davis led off the inning with a walk and scored on a sacrifice fly by freshman designated hitter Ivan Vera.
The series continues on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. (ET)