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Nathan Blasick’s Ninth-Inning Home Run Lifts WVU Over Bryant, 9-7

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WVU catcher Vince Ippoliti hit his second home run of the season in Sunday's 9-7 win against Bryant. (photo via wvusports.com)

The West Virginia Mountaineers hit six home runs in their 9-7 victory over Bryant Sunday morning and none were more dramatic than the one hit by Nathan Blasick in the top of the ninth inning.

In the top of the ninth, WVU (4-3) was trailing Bryant (2-4) 7-6. The Mountaineers had already scored a run in the inning to make it a one-run game. With runners on first and second and two outs, WVU coach Randy Mazey called on Blaskick, a true freshman, to pinch-hit for second baseman Ben Abernathy.

In just the ninth plate appearance of his college career, Blasick hit a ball over the fence in right-center, for a three-run home run that gave WVU its first lead of the day. Reliever Skylar Gonzalez pitched a scoreless bottom of the inning, nailing the game down for WVU.

Prior to that dramatic ninth inning, it had been a bit of a weird day for the WVU lineup. The Mountaineers had 13 hits, five walks and five home runs through the first eight innings Sunday and yet they only had five runs on the scoreboard. Despite getting so many hitters on base, all five of WVU’s home runs up to that point had been solo blasts.

Catcher Vince Ippoliti, center fielder Victor Scott and shortstop Mikey Kluska all had solo homers while third baseman Kevin Brophy hit two, giving him three total on the weekend.

Sophomore Jake Carr started on the mound for WVU and allowed five runs, four earned, in 4 2/3 innings of work. He was relieved by Noah Short, who allowed one unearned run in two innings out of the bullpen. Jacob Watter pitched a scoreless eighth and picked up the win while Gonzalez pitched the ninth and got the save.

Bryant designated hitter Liam McGill finished 3 for 5 with two home runs of his own, three RBI and two runs scored. Senior Tyler Schoff started for the Bulldogs, allowing three runs in six innings. Reliever Jack Ipsen was tagged with the loss.

West Virginia will return to Morgantown for its first home game of the season next weekend against Kent State. The Golden Flashes will be in two for a three-game series against the Mountaineers with all three games broadcast on ESPN+.

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Cody spent the last two years getting his master's degree in journalism from WVU. He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2018 with a degree in digital media production. He was born and raised in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

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