After struggling to score runs and put away teams in the majority of games recently, the West Virginia University baseball team was able to change that narrative on Wednesday against Marshall.
The Mountaineers (13-14, 4-5 Big 12) got the offense going in the second inning, scoring two early runs. The Mountaineers loaded the bases with no outs and then Kevin Brophy hit into a groundout, but was able to score a run to get the Mountaineers on the board. Austin Davis, then hit a single into right field, plating another run for the Mountaineers, who never looked back on their way to a 9-3 win.
The Mountaineers faced eight different pitchers tonight and even though it was a challenge, were able to find success.
“It’s not that easy to do as a hitter to face a different pitcher every time out but the odds are in your favor if the other team throws eight pitchers that at least one of them is not going to have that great of a night. It gives you an opportunity to score some runs when they do that,” head coach Randy Mazey said.
In the middle innings, the offense kept rolling. After scoring one run in the fourth inning, West Virginia was able to break the game open, scoring six runs in the next three innings.
In the fifth, the Mountaineers Hudson Byorick supplied the offense, hitting a triple to score Victor Scott. Then while on third and facing Marshall left handed pitcher Nick Adkins, Byorick was able to steal home, with the throw from Adkins coming too late as Byorick dove head first into home, putting the Mountaineers up 5-1. Then in the sixth inning, the Mountaineers added another two runs. Tyler Doanes hit into a fielder’s choice and then Byorick walked to give the Mountaineers a 7-1 lead. In the seventh, a Doanes single plated two more and the Mountaineers were at a comfortable 9-3 advantage.
Jake Carr (1-2) got the start for the Mountaineers on the mound. Carr ran into trouble in the first inning giving up a run on two hits, but then was able to induce a double play to get out of the inning.
“It was good to see him go out there and throw up some zero’s and get some of his pitches back. He looked a little bit like the Jake Carr of old after the first inning.”
After the first, Carr settled in, tossing four innings, giving up one run and not allowing a hit after the first, while striking out three. This was one of Carr’s best performances after struggling earlier and finding form as of late.
“[Carr] was just pitching up in the strike zone. He just can’t pitch up in the zone like other guys. That’s what he was doing early on and we have made a conscious effort here in the past couple of weeks to get his fastball below the belt and throw it on the knees and when he does that he gets a lot of ground balls,” Mazey said. “It’s starting to come for him, he’s starting to get a little more confidence and starting to spin his curveball a little bit more, he’s trending in the right direction.”
This is the Mountaineers second consecutive win and were able to tie the season series with Marshall after losing to them on March 23, by a score of 7-1.
“I told our guys you can’t let your in state rival beat you twice in a season especially on your home field,” Mazey said.
The Mountaineers will now turn their attention to their weekend series as they host No. 7 Texas Tech. First pitch for Friday is set for 6:30 p.m.
Photo by Dale Sparks, WVU