Takeaways: Jake Carr Posted Four Big Innings, Continuing to Deliver When it Counts
West Virginia baseball doubled down on their dominance of the Appalachian State Mountaineers Wednesday, putting up 18 runs for the second day in a row.
The Mountaineers continued their offensive explosion even when the game was out of reach, and former starter Jake Carr stepped up big when needed in the 18-5 win.
Jake Carr Comes Up Big
The senior left-hander hasn’t pitched much this season, largely called on when Randy Mazey needs to win a particular matchup, often based in wanting a left-hander pitcher like Carr to face a left handed batter.
Carr starred as a freshman in 2020 but had his campaign cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic when the NCAA season was canceled . He struggled mightily in 2021 and took a year off from the sport last year, but he’s had a career resurgence this seasonz
Carr’s performed excellently when on the mound, though, turning in 1.29 ERA and six strikeouts in seven innings this season.
Four of those innings came across the middle of Wednesday’s game. Carr pitched four scoreless, entering with West Virginia down 5-4 and leaving with them up 9-5. His ability to piggyback off young starter Gavin Van Kempen and give West Virginia time to pull away was the latest high point in a strong season for the veteran.
Keep Piling On
West Virginia’s killer instinct has stood out all year. They refuse to stop scoring, even with the game out of hand, exhausting and getting an extended look at opposing bullpens (which can set them up for continued success across a series). It helps their younger players mature faster too, giving Mazey a chance to put them in the game and get them used to the speed of Division 1 ball with innings that otherwise couldn’t happen.
Pitching Ups and Downs: A Trend
This has come up a few times already, and a month into the season it’s a trend worth keeping an eye on. West Virginia has a lot of young pitchers, especially in the bullpen. While they’ve been lights out at times, they haven’t been able to string those performances together.
The good thing is that the rest of the team has been able to step up. If a young starter gets chased early, guys in the bullpen like Carr have been able to back them up.
It hasn’t hurt them yet—they’ve won 75% of their games so far, so this is a bit of a nitpick—but with two weeks until conference play begins, one would like to see a bit more consistency.