The West Virginia Mountaineers (27-23, 9-13) took down the Baylor Bears 2-1 Thursday evening inside Monongalia County Ball Park. Baylor won 14 out of their last 15 games coming into this series and coming off a 2-1 series win over the top team in the Big XII, the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Mountaineer starting pitcher BJ Myers gave up a single to Baylor lead-off hitter Nick Loftin to start the game but then retired the next three batters to get out of the inning.
The Bears put a run on the board in the top of the second inning. Catcher Shea Langeliers got it going for Baylor with a deep line drive into centerfield, over Brandon White’s head, for a double. Shea moved to third on a groundball from Davion Downey. Then, with two outs, Josh Bissonette hit a line drive into rightfield scoring Langeliers.
In the bottom of the third inning, Braden Zarbnisky immediately put himself into scoring position with a line drive down the rightfield line for a triple, then Brandon White tied the game up on an RBI single through the gap between the shortstop and the third baseman.
West Virginia head coach Randy Mazey had a different approach going into the game. “We had a meeting yesterday and told everybody how many innings we they were going to throw and what order.”
The Mountaineers threw six different pitchers at the Bears throughout the game. “It was all about trying to win this game.” Said Mazey. “We just said we are going to throw our best guys in shorter stints and try to get them out there twice on a weekend instead of once. All the guys that pitched tonight are going to be ready to pitch on Saturday.”
Myers pitched three innings and only gave up a run before Alek Monoah took the mound in the fourth inning for the Mountaineers. Monoah pitched two innings, then Tristen Hudson came in to start the sixth.
Sam Kessler started the seventh inning got two outs then after giving up a single, Zach Reid came in to finish out the inning.
The Mountaineers took the lead in the seventh inning when Marcus Inman reached on an errant throw from Nick Lofton and the ball went out of play allowing Inman to take second base, then Kyle Gray hit a blooper into centerfield moving Inman to third. Tyler Doanes hit a fly ball to right rightfield and Iman tagged up third and scored.
Two-way Braden Zarbnisky finished Baylor off the final two innings securing the one-point victory.
This is a different approach coach Mazey and the Mountaineers are taking this weekend and it paid off in game one. The West Virginia pitching staff only gave up the one run on eight hits and did not walk a single batter.
Game two is set for Friday afternoon at 3:00 pm est at Monongalia County Ball Park.