MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–The West Virginia University baseball team salvaged the final game of a three-game series against Furman with a 8-5 win over the Paladins in the second game of a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon.
The Mountaineers (17-13) scored eight runs on 16 hits. Freshman Andrew Zitel led the offense with a career-high three hits and two RBI. Freshman right fielder Darius Hill, designated hitter Ivan Vera, junior catcher Ray Guerrini, left fielder Kyle Davis and center fielder Braden Zarbnisky all had two hits.
WVU and Furman (13-18) dogged it out the first four innings before the Mountaineers had an offensive surge courtesy of their freshmen.
BJ Myers (3-3) tossed 6.2 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits. The sophomore had five strikeouts and walked three.
The Paladins scored five runs on eight hits.
Zarbnisky singled up the middle to start the bottom of the first for the Mountaineers. He advanced to third on Gray’s single and scored on Hill’s sacrifice fly to right field.
Furman responded in the second to tie the game at 1-1. Brandon Elmy reached on Austin Cole’s throwing error and scored on Griffin Davis’ groundout two batters later.
WVU took the lead back in the third when Vera singled home freshman Marques Inman.
The Paladins tied the game 2-2 in the top of the fourth, but the Mountaineers answered in the bottom half of the inning on Guerrini’s home run over the left field wall.
A three-run fifth gave WVU a 6-2 lead. With one out, Hill singled to left and Inman walked. Austin’s base hit up the middle scored Hill from second. Austin and Inman scored on Zitel’s double to left field.
The Mountaineers weren’t done there. WVU tacked on two more runs in the sixth to jump in front 8-2. Gray’s triple to left field brought Guerrini across the plate. Gray scored a batter later on Hill’s base hit to center.
Furman added a run in the seventh and a two-run eighth pulled the Paladins within three.
The Mountaineers return to action on Tuesday at Monongalia County Ballpark when WVU battles Pitt in the Backyard Brawl on the diamond at 6:30 p.m. (ET).