Mountaineers Blast Jayhawks
The West Virginia Mountaineers (24-19, 7-9) rolled through the Kansas Jayhawks (20-25, 3-12) 21-3 on Friday night in Lawrence, Kansas in game one of the weekend series.
Kansas starting pitcher Jackson Goddard started the game getting the first three Mountaineers to fly out to the outfield, but West Virginia locked in on him in the second inning.
Kyle Gray took first base with a single through the right side of the infield, then Tyler Doanes and Ivan Gonzalez both walked to load the bases for Isaiah Kearns.
Kearns hit a grounder to third baseman Skyler Messinger and the ball went between his legs scoring Gray.
With the bases still loaded, Jimmy Galusky doubled off the centerfield wall bringing in Doanes and Gonzalez, and the Mountaineers were up 3-0.
Braden Zarbnisky hit the ball up the middle scoring Kearns and Galusky completing a five-running inning for the Mountaineers.
Jayhawks Brendt Citta starting off the bottom of the second reaching first base on an errant throw from Doanes to and he took second on a wild pitch.
Brett Vosik dropped a hit into centerfield, moving Citta over to third before Owen Taylor hit into a double play but scoring Citta cutting the West Virginia lead to four, 5-1.
Kansas scored another run in the in third, when Zunica singled into rightfield and then he got into scoring position by stealing second.
James Costentino hit a grounder up the middle, then Devin Foyle hit a line drive into right center scoring Zunica.
West Virginia had a three run fourth inning started off by Brandon White singling on a line drive into right field.
White would steal second and Darius Hill brought him in on a deep drive into right centerfield, then Kyle Gray scored Hill with a double to the right field wall.
Gray stole third base and on an errant throw from catcher Jaxx Grashans that went into leftfield Gray hustled home finishing off a three run fourth inning, taking an 8-2 lead.
After eight runs given up by Goddard, Kansas head coach went to freshman Jomah Ulane to take the mound. He started off the fifth inning by hitting Isaiah Kearns and walking Jimmy Galusky.
With baserunners taking big leads and threatening to steal, Zarbnisky poked a hard bunt between short and third that almost reached the outfield, loading the bases.
Darius Hill singled, scoring Kearns and Marques Inman hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Galusky from third.
With two on and two outs, Kyle Gray drove a ball over the right field fence for a three-run homerun capping of a five-run inning and the Mountaineers took a 13-2 lead.
The Mountaineers added another run in the seventh with Galusky drawing a walk with the bases loaded.
West Virginia continued to pour it on in the eighth inning.
Darius Hill got himself on base with a double, then Marques Inman hit a shot to the opposite side of the field hitting the right field foul pole for a two-run blast.
Andrew Zitel drew a walk and advanced to third on an error from third baseman Messinger on a Nick Denicola hit.
Kearns doubled into centerfield scoring Zitel, then Galusky hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield bringing in Denicola.
In the ninth inning, Hill hit a single to centerfield and Kyle Grey got to first on a walk, setting up a two RBI double to right centerfield from Zitel, then Denicola hit the ball in the same area as Zitel to bring him in.
Kansas scored one run in the ninth but that’s all they could muster up.
West Virginia starting pitcher BJ Myers had a great outing on the road. He threw for seven innings, only giving up two runs (one earned) on seven hits and a three strikeouts.
This is a big win for the Mountaineers on the road. If they can win in game two on Saturday, the Mountaineers will be tied with TCU for sixth place in the Big XII and one game back from fifth.
Game two is Saturday afternoon at 3:00 pm est in Lawrence, Kansas.