For the third time in a row, West Virginia lost a game in which its lineup could not put more than two runs of the board.
The Mountaineers (5-4) started their weekend in Central Virginia by losing to VCU (6-3), 4-1. Starter Jackson Wolf (2-1) looked to be having another stellar start to begin the season, but a disastrous sixth inning led the Rams to victory.
Wolf no-hit the Rams through his first five innings of work, but the promising start came undone in the sixth. After a foul-out, Wolf allowed back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners for Atlantic-10 All-Conference player Liam Hibbits. Hibbits, VCU’s designated hitter Friday, doubled into left field, scoring VCU’s first run of the day.
After that Wolf was lifted for freshman Skylar Gonzalez. Gonzalez struck out the first batter he faced, the second out of the inning, and intentionally walked center fielder Hogan Brown to load the bases. The strategy backfired as the next two Rams hitters both roped RBI singles up the middle to score a total of three runs.
Wolf’s final stat line was 5.1 innings with three earned runs on three hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Gonzalez was tagged for one earned run in 0.2 innings.
While not an overwhelming lead, West Virginia has scored more than four runs only three times so far this season. The offense was sluggish again Friday, collecting just four hits in the first eight innings.
In the ninth, Ryan Archibald hit a pinch-hit single and later scored on a Tyler DeMartino single into left field for WVU’s lone run. No Mountaineer had more than one hit and the team left eight runners on base.
The Mountaineers are in action again Saturday as sophomore Ryan Bergert (1-0) will matchup against William & Mary’s Justin Pearson (0-1). First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.