MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Ivan Gonzalez’s walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth lifted West Virginia University past No. 3 TCU 5-4 on Friday at Monongalia County Ballpark.
The win over the Horned Frogs (27-6,8-2 Big 12) marks the highest-ranked opponent the Mountaineers have ever defeated.
“I don’t think our guys showed up today thinking we weren’t the best team on the field,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “There is a lot to be said for that. We attacked hitters, we attacked the pitcher, we got our swings off and that’s why we won the game.”
After blowing a 4-1 lead, the Mountaineers (20-12, 7-3) responded with a Jimmy Galusky double down the right field line. He advanced to third on Brandon White’s bunt and scored on Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly.
Junior right-handed starter BJ Myers dominated TCU on the mound. He pitched 8.1 innings, surrendering two earned runs on six hits while striking out six.
“He changes speeds, pitches down in the zone, he has different arm angles, different slots, different tempo, you just never get a really good look at him at home plate,” Mazey said. “He mixes his pitches really well, that’s one of the best teams in the country over there and BJ had control of that game from start to finish.”
Braden Zarbnisky (4-0) picked up the win for WVU.
Luken Baker’s double in the right field corner drove in an unearned run and gave the Horned Frogs a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
However, the Mountaineers responded right away. Kyle Gray led off the inning with a triple and scored on Ivan Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Mountaineers took the lead on an RBI triple by Kyle Davis. Then a sacrifice fly by Zarbnisky drove home Davis.
With two outs, Cole Austin singled to center field and extended WVU’s lead to 4-1.
Myers returned to the mound in the ninth and gave up a lead off home run to Evan Skoug.
After Josh Watson base hit, Mazey went to right-hander Braden Zarbnisky, who then gave up a single to Nolan Brown, putting the tying runs aboard. Ryan Merrill made it a one-run game with a two-out single and a wild pitch allowed Brown to score the tying run.