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Takeaways: Mountaineers Step Up When Needed in Doubleheader Sweep



The Mountaineers swept their doubleheader Saturday, defeating the VCU Rams 8-5 and the Canisius Golden Griffins 3-2. 

West Virginia stayed composed throughout the day with their pitching struggled at times in the first game and their bats went cold in the second. But they made plays when they needed to and came away with the sweep. 

Dayne Leonard’s Big Day

Catcher Dayne Leonard had the game-winning RBI in both games of the double header. He brought the Mountaineers back from an early 4-0 deficit against VCU, getting the scoring started by drawing a bases loaded hit by pitch. He hit a three-run home run to the opposite field the following inning, putting the Mountaineers up for good 6-5.

Canisius tied the second game 2-2 with an eighth inning rally, but Leonard put them away for good in the bottom of the frame with an RBI single. 

Leonard’s ability to slow the game down when the Mountaineers started to struggle—-and then deliver a knockout blow—both saved and won each game.

Wetherholt’s Homer

The Mountaineers led 6-5 entering the ninth inning against VCU. With such a narrow lead, it seemed likely that head coach Randy Mazey would pull starting pitcher Blaine Traxel and look to the bullpen for the save. Second baseman JJ Wetherholt slugged a two-run homer to give West Virginia breathing room, making it easier for Traxel to stay in and complete his second game in a row.

Starting Pitchers Star

West Virginia’s starters combined to pitch 50 of 54 outs in the doubleheader. Traxel struggled early, giving up five runs in the first three innings. In a game where it looked like he’d get the hook early, Traxel managed to steady himself for the complete game, preserving a bullpen that could’ve had a busy day.

Hampton turned in 7.2 innings in his best game of the young season. He left a runner on in his final inning, one that he was charged for, but it really wasn’t his fault. Reliever David Hagaman threw a wild pitch that moved the runner to second, allowing him to score on a two-out single.

Hampton allowed nine base runners but pitched through traffic effectively, staying composed and locking Canisius down.

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