MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – After scoring eight runs in three games over the weekend, the West Virginia Mountaineers scored 15 runs in their home opener against Canisius.
The game got off to a rocky start for the Mountaineers (3-1) as freshman starter Tyler Strechay lasted only one-third of an inning and allowed two runs on a pair of RBI doubles. Fellow freshman Skylar Gonzalez entered in relief of Strechay and pitched 3.2 scoreless innings.
Despite going down early, WVU’s offense did not waste any time erasing the deficit. The Mountaineers scored one run in the first inning on a Matt McCormick single, three in the second inning on a Tyler Doanes single and a McCormick home run and two in the third on an Austin Daivs triple and Braden Zarbniskiy single.
Now leading 6-2, Gonzalez gave way for freshman Carter Lyles in the fifth inning. Lyles failed to record a single out, giving up three earned runs. Tim Wynia entered and finished the fifth, allowing one more run to tie the game at 6-6.
West Virginia grabbed the lead right back in the fifth, however, with Zarbnisky tripling in Davis and scoring on a wild pitch and McCormick singling in Doanes to take a 9-6 lead.
Canisius scored two more in the top of the sixth off of Jacob Watters, but the Mountaineers turned around to score sixth in the bottom of the inning to put the game away.
Both teams pitched scoreless seventh, eighth and ninth as West Virginia went on to win 15-8.
Zarbnisky finished 3-4 at the plate with two RBI and three runs scored. McCormick finished 4-6 with three RBI, a homer and a run scored. Doanes finished 2-4 with three RBI and two runs. Davis finished 3-3 with four runs scored. Wynia was credited with the win.
The Mountaineers will now travel to South Carolina to compete in the Brittan Resorts Invitational over the weekend. The team plays Kennesaw State Friday, St. Joeseph’s Saturday, Illinois Sunday and Coastal Carolina Monday.