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West Virginia Baseball Defeats Marshall, 7-3

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A dominating pitching performance by Zach Bravo and a five-run scoring surge in the top of the second propelled West Virginia to a 7-3 victory over in-state rival Marshall on Tuesday afternoon in Huntington, W. Va.

Braden Barry got things started for the Mountaineers in the top of the second with a two-run double, Mikey Kluska followed with a two-run shot over the left-field wall, and Austin Davis had a solo home run to put West Virginia up 5-0.

West Virginia enhanced its lead to 6-0 in the top of the fourth thanks to a sack fly by Kluska that brought Barry home. A balk advanced Barry from second to third prior to the sack fly.

In the bottom of the fourth, Marshall presented its first threat with a runner on third, but West Virginia converted a 6-3-4 double play to retire the side.

With two outs, Victor Scott II hit a solo home run in the top of the fifth to put West Virginia up 7-0. It was the third home run of the afternoon by the Mountaineers. It was also Scott’s fourth homer of the season.

Marshall pitcher Ryan Capuano was relieved by Louis Davenport in the top of the sixth after allowing runners on first and second. Following two straight strikeouts by Davenport, Josh Heath tried to steal home but was called out.

While the Mountaineers had their way with Capuano, Bravo was nearly flawless in six innings, as he allowed no runs and just three hits, along with three strikeouts. Bravo retired six batters in a row in the fifth and the sixth before being replaced by Aidan Major in the bottom of the seventh. With Major pitching, Marshall finally got on the board after a Jordon Billups solo home run. Major retired the side with a runner left on first and third, and West Virginia led 7-1 after seven innings.

After struggling in the seventh, Major was replaced by Trent Hodgden. Hodgden didn’t even make it through one inning, however, as he walked the first two batters and was pulled by Randy Mazey. Mazey went to the bullpen and brought in Daniel Ouderkirk.

With runners on first and third, Marshall got two more runs and got within grand slam range at 7-3. Ouderkirk managed to hold off the Thundering Herd’s surge and retired the side with two runners left on base.

In the bottom of the ninth and with two runners on base, Ouderkirk got two consecutive strikeouts to seal a 7-3 win for the Mountaineers.

The Mountaineers are now 14-8 on the season and will face Pitt on Wednesday at Charles L. Cost Field. First pitch is at 5 p.m. Following the game against Pitt, West Virginia will travel to Texas to face No. 10 TCU for its first conference game on April 1.

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