MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–The West Virginia University baseball team split a doubleheader with Jacksonville on Saturday afternoon at Monongalia County Ballpark.
“Doubleheaders are such a beating,” WVU head coach Randy Mazey said. “At 5:30 this afternoon we were up 8-1 and as soon as that game ended they made up a seven run deficit. “The score goes to 0-0, they catch life and come out swinging the bats, and that’s why every coach in the world tries to avoid doubleheaders at all cost because the team that loses the first game has the momentum going into the second game just cause they tied it up. They came out swinging; you have to give them credit. They hit one of our best pitchers and they earned that one. We struck out 13 times in that second game, so hats off to them, they earned that one.”
The Mountaineers (12-9) took two-of-three from the weekend series against the Dolphins (12-14).
In game one of the doubleheader, WVU defeated Jacksonville 8-1.
Behind a strong outing from Michael Grove (2-1), the Mountaineers scored eight runs on 13 hits.
Grove pitched 7.2 innings, surrendering just one run on five hits. The sophomore struck out eight.
After a 1-2-3 top of the first for Grove, Darius Hill’s double drove in two and gave WVU a 2-0 advantage.
Chase Illig extended the Mountaineers’ lead to 3-0 with a solo shot to right field in the bottom of the second.
The Dolphins got a run back in the top of the fifth when Connor Stephens’ groundout drove in Seth Dewitt.
However, WVU got the run right back in the bottom half of the inning on a Jackson Cramer home run to right center.
The Mountaineers added another run in the sixth to go ahead 5-1.
In the seventh inning, WVU tacked on three more runs. Cramer and Kyle Davis scored on Stephens’ throwing error. Cole Austin then scored on Hill’s base hit up the middle.
In game two, Jacksonville got the scoring started in the first. Conner Dotson walked Scott Dubrule and he scored on Evan Fernandez’s double. Dotson labored much of the inning but limited the damage to just one run.
The junior right-hander continued to struggle in the second. He loaded the bases and Nathan Koslowski hit a grand slam to right field, giving the Dolphins a 5-0 advantage.
After Dotson gave up and base hit to Dubrule and fell behind 2-0 on Fernandez, Mazey made a call to the bullpen, bringing in Isaiah Kearns. The freshman righty gave up two more runs before getting out of the inning.
The Mountaineers picked up a run in the third and one in the fourth. Austin’s RBI single scored Cramer from second and pulled WVU with 7-2.
Sam Armstrong’s dinger in the seventh extended the Dolphins lead to 8-2
Dotson (3-3) suffered the loss for the Mountaineers. He gave up six runs on four hits in 1.1 innings.
Sophomore catcher Ivan Gonzalez led WVU with two hits. Six different relievers held Jacksonville to one run on six hits in the final seven innings.
On Tuesday the 193rd edition of the Backyard Brawl takes place between Pitt and the Mountaineers in Pittsburgh, Pa at 6 p.m.
Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS