In their first game on Sunday, the West Virginia Mountaineers lost to the Illinois Fighting Illini 2-1.
Freshman lefty Jake Carr started for WVU (5-2) and pitched the entire game. Carr allowed two runs on five his, striking out three. UI (3-3) started Cole Kirschsieper matched Carr pitch for pitch, allowing one run on six hits in six innings. Aidan Maldonado pitched the final three innings and collected the save.
WVU’s lone run came in the first inning. left fielder Braden Zarbnisky and second baseman Tyler Doanes led the game off with a pair of singles, immediately setting the Mountaineers up with runners on the corners and no outs. First baseman Matt McCormick stuck out, but catcher Paul Mcintosh hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring Zarbnisky.
West Virginia loaded the bases in the top of the third inning with two outs, but McIntosh harmlessly flied out to center field.
The Illini’s only offense came in the bottom of the fourth inning. After a single and a ground out, shortstop Branden Comia hit a two-run home run to give UI the lead.
WVU had just five baserunners in the final five innings and were unable to push any other runs across.
Zarbnisky led the team on offense, going 4-4 with a run scored. Doanes finished with two hits and center fielder Victor Scott was the only other Mountaineer to record a hit, going 1-3. All seven WVU hits were singles.
The Mountaineers will play their final game in South Carolina this afternoon against Coastal Carolina.