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Takeaways: West Virginia Baseball Struggles to Execute as Arizona Plays Flawless Game



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West Virginia’s four game winning streak came to an end Sunday as the Arizona Wildcats exploded for a 15-5 victory. Arizona was simply the better team that day, powered by a huge game from star center fielder Mac Bingham. The Wildcats jumped all over each of the Mountaineers’ miscues, executing their game flawlessly while West Virginia struggled.

Bingham Breaks Out

Bingham took over the game, going 4-for-5 with a pair of home runs and coming within a triple of hitting for the cycle on the way to a seven RBI game. Much like his team, Bingham was simply the better player during the game: his first home run came on a knee-high pitch that he reached out to golf over the fence. Bingham’s second home run was on a pitch that tailed in, and yet he still managed to get his bat around. 

Even when Bingham made an out, it still seemed as if he could do no wrong, plating two runs in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly.

Wildcats Punch Back

Every time the Mountaineers managed to score, Arizona stood ready to retaliate. West Virginia scored one run in the first inning and Arizona scored three; West Virginia scored one in the fourth, and the Wildcats maintained their lead with a run of their own; West Virginia plated a pair in the fifth, and Arizona blew the game open with a six run explosion. Arizona’s ability to escalate every time the Mountaineers showed a hint of clawing back into the game helped them put the game out of reach early.

Mountaineers Fall Victim to Murphy’s Law

What could go wrong did go wrong for West Virginia in the fifth inning when Arizona put up six runs. 

The Mountaineers came back to earth in a hurry as the Wildcats pounced on every mistake they made: game plans mean nothing when the team struggles to execute. 

Putting right-hander Noah Short in to get a double play with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth inning was a sensible decision. Arizona managed to one-up the Mountaineers, however, hitting a single through the left side to plate a pair. 

West Virginia intentionally walked lefty batter Chase Davis with two outs to secure the handedness advantage against the right-handed Bingham. Again, that makes sense, but a belt-high pitch rendered the decision moot when Bingham lifted it over the left field wall.

It just wasn’t the Mountaineers’ day as mistakes compounded into a runaway loss.

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