Takeaways: Sam White, Keegan Allen Boost WVU Baseball Past Hofstra
West Virginia baseball survived the Hofstra Pride 6-5 Wednesday, needing a tenth-inning walk-off hit to do so.
Reliever Keegan Allen kept the Mountaineers alive with two shutout innings across the final frames, and true freshman Sam White, who went 3-for-6 with three RBI on the day, delivered the knockout blow with a two-out single.
The game-winning single was the culmination of a dramatic tenth inning. On defense, the Mountaineers got the first out of the inning when Hofstra center fielder Dylan Palmer grounded out to second. Busting down the first base line trying to beat the throw, Palmer collided with the back of White’s knee, an incident that incensed both dugouts and spurred some strong words from White. It was no surprise, then, that White retaliated by delivering the game-winning hit. Third baseman Caleb McNeely laced a double down the left field line with two outs, and White singled him home after a couple of big swings and misses.
White initially played off the collision at first.
“I don’t really know what happened,” White said. “The guys on the field reacted like something bad happened.”
When asked about his reaction after the play, though, White gave a sheepish grin and told more of what actually happened.
“I was a little fired up, I guess. I thought he was gonna apologize, and then he started talking to Tev [shortstop Tevin Tucker],” White said. “I said some things I shouldn’t have.”
It’s doubtful that anyone in the Mountaineers’ dugout or the crowd would fault him for any choice words, especially after the dramatic inning and his game-winning performance.
Keegan Allen Gets the Win
White may not have been in a position to call game were it not for the heroics of reliever Keegan Allen, who went six up, six down in the ninth and tenth innings and earned the win. He burned through two innings on just 19 pitches, inducing weak contact and only allowing one ball to leave the infield.
It was an ice-cold performance for Allen, even though he admitted that the dramatic game made it hard to keep his emotions in check.
“Just tried to hold back [my] anger a little bit. I don’t like when guys mess with my team, so it’s kinda hard to hold back.” Allen said. “Never been part of a midweek game that crazy, for sure,” he added.
School Record Set
The Mountaineers set a school record Wednesday, albeit one they likely never wanted to. Eight West Virginia batters were hit by pitches as Hofstra’s hurlers struggled to control their offspeed throws. Everyone was able to stay in the game, luckily, but the constant hit batters only increased the tension in an already chippy game.
When combined with seven walks, 15 Mountaineers got a free pass on base during the game, compared to just eight strikeouts.