CONWAY, S.C.—Trailing by two runs in the ninth inning, the West Virginia University baseball team pulled off an amazing comeback to down Bryant 9-7 on Sunday in the CCU Baseball Tournament.
With two outs, freshman Nathan Blasick blasted a pinch-hit, three-run bomb to give the Mountaineers the lead.
WVU scored nine runs on 16 hits, including six home runs. The Bulldogs tallied seven runs on nine hits with three errors.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Jacob Watters earned the win, the first of his career, for the Mountaineers. Bryant’s Jack Ipsen suffered the loss. Sophomore righty Skylar Gonzalez recorded the save.
“We came down here without eight-to-10 guys on the team who had to stay back home, so we had to count on some new guys to play really well down here, and they did,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “We got a lot of production out of guys that normally wouldn’t have been in the lineup, and that was a huge hit at the end of the game.”
The Bulldogs (2-4) jumped out to an early 2-0 lead when Liam McGill blasted a two-run blast in the bottom of the first. However, senior Kevin Brophy had an answer in the top of the second when he hit a solo shot to right field.
Bryant made it a 3-1 game in the bottom of the frame. Then in the fifth the Bulldogs extended their lead to 5-1 on back-to-back solo homers from McGill and James Ciliento.
The Mountaineers (4-3) refused to go away. In the top of the sixth, Vince Ippoliti and sophomore Victor Scott each went yard, making it a 5-3 contest.
In the bottom of the inning, Bryant pushed their lead to 6-3 on a WVU throwing error.
The Mountaineers pulled within one in the eighth when Brophy hit his second long ball of the day and then freshman Mikey Kluska homered.
The Bulldogs tallied an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth to make it a 7-5 game, setting up for WVU’s comeback in the ninth. First, Brophy recorded his third RBI of the day with a sacrifice fly to deep center, scoring Scott. Then freshman Braden Barry and freshman infielder Ben Abernathy got on base, paving the way Blasick’s first career blast.
Sophomore left-hander Jake Carr earned the nod and went 4.2 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits, while striking out five.
The Mountaineers head back to Morgantown for their home-opening series against Kent State next weekend at Monongalia County Ballpark.
Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS