The West Virginia Mountaineers (19-18 4-8) lost the final game of the series to the Kansas State Wildcats (17-23 3-12) 7-4 inside Monongalia County Ball Park Sunday afternoon. The Mountaineers were going for the sweep but fell short.
“You win series’ you play in the post-season. It’s disappointing to win 2-3 when you win 2-2. In the big scheme of things this is a pretty good series win for us.” Said West Virginia head coach Randy Mazey.
Kansas State took the early lead in the second inning when Drew Mount started the inning with a triple down the right field line, then Trent McMaster brought him in with a hit up the middle for a 1-0 lead.
The Mountaineers tied the game up in the fourth with Kyle Gray hitting a deep line drive over the centerfielders head for a double. Ivan Gonzalez put the ball in play with a grounder to second moving Gray to third base and Andrew Zitel brought him home with a hit up the middle.
West Virginia’s starting pitcher Braden Zarbnisky gave up a hit in the fifth inning, then head coach Randy Mazey went to his bullpen bringing Tristan Hudson.
Hudson walked his first batter before Rainer Ausmus laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the baserunners to second and third.
West Virginia decided to intentionally walk the bases loaded and then bring in left handed pitcher Jackson Wolfe to face Hanz Barker. Wolfe walked Barker and sub sequentially walked in a run.
With the bases loaded and one out, Mazey went back to his Bullpen and brought in Shane Ennis.
Ennis started off with a walk that brought in another run. He got out of the inning when Drew Mount hit a line drive to right field and Kansas State’s Will Brennan would test right fielder Kyle Gray’s arm as Brennan tagged up third and went for home, but Gray gunned him down at the plate.
The Wildcats added to their lead in the seventh inning with back to back doubles from Will Brennan and Hanz Harker, giving Kansas State the 4-1 advantage.
Mountaineer pitcher Alex Monoah started on the mound in the eighth inning. Kyle Barfield and Jordan Maxson got things going for the Wildcats with back to back hits.
Monoah loaded the bases up after hitting third baseman Rainer Ausmus.
Will Brennan singled down the left field line scoring Kyle Barfield from third, then Hanz Harker hit a sacrifice fly to right field bringing Maxson.
Monoah got Drew Mount swinging on a strike three, but with the ball in the dirt and getting by catcher Ivan Gonzalez, Mount took first base and Ausmus crossed home plate.
The Mountaineers trailed 7-1 heading to the bottom of the 8th inning. With one out Brandon White drew a walk and Darius Hill doubled down the right field line, bringing home White.
Marques Inman hit a high chopper to third base, advancing hill to third and beating the throw to first. Kyle Gray hit a sacrifice fly to left field scoring Kyle Gray.
Trailing 7-3 in the ninth inning, Jimmy Galusky hit a triple out to right center field and crossed home plate on a sacrifice grounder to the shortstop from Zarbnisky.
With two outs and two on, Marques Inman represented the tying run at the plate. He hit a line drive in the gap between first and second baseman John Sorensen made a diving grab to end the game.
It was a day where West Virginia put out eight pitchers. “Changing pitchers is not an exact science, its really easy to do after the damage has occurred. The trick is to try and do it before the damage occurs, sometimes it works out sometimes it doesn’t.” said Mazey.
West Virginia had 11 hits on the day but could never put a big inning together or consecutive scoring innings.
The Mountaineers will travel to Charleston to play Marshall on Tuesday at 6:30 pm est.