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West Virginia Baseball Splits Doubleheader with Charlotte

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West Virginia (5-2 overall) split their doubleheader with Charlotte (3-2 overall) Saturday afternoon, seeing an offensive onslaught lead them to victory in the first game, and poor pitching get coupled with missed opportunities on offense giving them a loss in the second game.

The Mountaineers won the series against the 49ers, two games to one, after winning Friday afternoon, 5-4, which was a comeback from 4-1 down.

First Game

West Virginia took the first game against Charlotte, 9-2, with an explosive performance from senior outfielder Austin Davis, who drove in four RBIs.

The Mountaineers took an early lead in the third inning, 2-0, as Davis hit a double to score redshirt junior infielder Tevin tucker and then junior outfielder Victor Scott hit a sacrifice fly, which Davis used to make it home.

Charlotte got a run back on solo home run by first-year outfielder Cam Fisher in the bottom of the fourth inning. West Virginia responded as Davis hit into a fielder’s choice to first base, allowing Tucker to score and make it 3-1.

The Mountaineers scored four runs in the sixth inning to break the score to a 7-1 lead and the 49ers had little response for it the rest of the game.

With bases loaded on two walks and a single, 49ers junior pitcher Hale Sims came in and threw a wild pitch, which allowed first-year outfielder/infielder Evan Smith to score.

Charlotte Sophomore pitcher Evan Thompson came in relief for Sims and did no better, as Tucker walked bases loaded to score sophomore infielder Mike Kluska for West Virginia. Davis finished off the scoring with a single to right field, that brought home sophomore outfielder Braden Berry and redshirt junior catcher Dayne Leonard.

The Mountaineers finished the game off with two more runs in the ninth inning, as Scott doubled home first-year infielder JJ Wetherholt and sophomore catcher McGwire Holbrook singled to score Scott, to make it 9-2.

WVU sophomore left-handed pitcher Ben Hampton won the game and earns his second win on the season. Hampton pitched 5.2 innings pitched, struck out seven, gave up three hits, one walk and one earned run against 21 Charlotte batters faced.

Second Game

The Mountaineers held an early 2-1 lead in the second game of the double-header. Holbrook scored Wetherholt home on a ground out to second base in the first inning and Scott hit a sacrifice fly to right field to bring Davis home.

The 49ers scored four runs in the sixth inning to take a 5-2 lead, taking advantage of some poor Mountaineer pitching.

Fifth-year right-handed pitcher Chase Smith came in relief for redshirt-junior right-handed pitcher Noah Short, who had gotten West Virginia out of a difficult situation in the fifth inning.

Smith couldn’t prevent Charlotte from getting on base, giving up three runs, two unearned, on four hits and 0.2 innings pitched.

Charlotte tied the game at two with a sacrifice bunt from first-year infielder JD Suarez, who made it to first safely.

With the bases loaded, Fisher singled to the left past the third baseman and scored sophomore first baseman Will Butcher and Suarez to make it 4-2. The 49ers finished the inning with sophomore outfielder Will Cunningham singled to second base, but an error from first-year infielder Alex Khan allowed sophomore infielder Will Furman to score, giving the 49ers a 5-2 lead.

The Mountaineers cut the lead to one over the next two innings. Tucker scored sophomore utility Ben Abernathy on a ground out in the seventh inning and Holbrook doubled over the 49ers right fielder to score Scott in the eighth inning.

West Virginia had a great chance to tie or win the game in the ninth inning, getting the first two base runners on with no outs. Abernathy got a walk and then stole second, and sophomore infielder Mikey Kluska made it to first base on a walk.

Tucker chose to lay down a bunt to move the runners to third base and second base, but his bunt was right to Charlotte pitcher, graduate right-handed Michael Oh, threw it quick to third to get Abernathy out.

Kluska made it to to third after moving from second on the fly ball out from Davis, and Tucker stole second to set up a man on third base and second base with two outs.

Wetherholt came on to potentially get the Mountaineers the win, but flew out to right field ending the game.

West Virginia takes on Canisius Tuesday on Mar. 1 in the first home game of the season at 3 p.m.

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