The West Virginia Mountaineers (27-24, 9-14) dropped game two to the Baylor Bears (31-19, 12-11) Friday afternoon inside Monongalia County Ball Park, 4-1.
Baylor’s Shea Langeliers started the seconding inning with a base hit into leftfield. Davion Downey laid down a bunt to move Shea to second and Cole Haring grounded out to second, moving Shea to third, before Josh Bissonette hit the ball up the middle scoring Langeliers giving the Bears a 1-0 lead.
Jackson Wolfe came in for Isaiah Kearns in the fourth inning. Kearns gave up three hits for 1 run and no walks on the day.
Head Coach Randy Mazey was sticking with the game plan from the previous night that worked so well that seen six West Virginia pitchers, but Friday night they went through ten. “The pitching plan worked to perfection yesterday. Kearns was throwing pretty good when we took him out, so that was a difference. Not too many guys after Kearns threw all that well.” Said Mazey.
In the bottom of the fourth and one out, Kyle Gray drew a walk, then Tyler Doanes hit a groundball to short advancing Gray to second base. Now with two outs, Ivan Gonzalez came up to the plate and singled up the middle. Kyle hustled around third tying the game up 1-1.
Kade Strowd came in for Wolfe to start the fifth inning. Kade retired the first batter, then TJ Raguse reached first with a groundball up the middle. Now with two outs, Richard Cunningham singled on a line drive to rightfield putting runners on first and third. That set up Davis Wendzel for a two RBI double off the centerfield wall reclaiming the lead, 3-1.
Strowd started the sixth, but after giving up a walk, a hit and hitting a batter, Zach Reid came in with the bases loaded and one out. Reid got out number two on a hit groundball back to him. There was a possible double play opportunity but with a bit of confusion by Reid, double clutching to multiple bases he was just able to get the force out at home.
Shane Ennis came in for the third and final out. Nick Lofton hit a fly ball to left field that looked like it may find its way to the turf, but Braden Zarbnisky came charging in and made a diving grab to end the inning.
Ennis started the seventh but after walking two batters, Dillon Meadows made an appearance on the mound until he walked the first batter he faced and Mazey went back to the bullpen. Nick Snyder took the hill and he couldn’t find the strike zone walking his first batter. Then, with the bases loaded, Christian Young came in to get the final out, striking out Cole Haring.
Young took the mound in the eighth inning, but his day also ended after walking Josh Bissonette to start the inning. Riley Trout threw one in the dirt and Bissonette took second on the wild pitch. He then took third when pinch hitter Levi Gilcrease grounded out to second base.
Trout walked Lofton and that brought in Cody Wood from the bullpen. With runners at the corners and one out, Wood made a pick off attempt to first base and on the errant throw Bissonette scored from third and Baylor had the three-point advantage.
In the bottom of the ninth inning and with two outs Braden Zarbnisky reached first on an error by shortstop Nick Lofton, then Brandon White singled with a slow groundball to second base. That brought up the tying run to the plate. Darius fought hard at the plate but went down swinging.
How the game finished was just that type of day for the Mountaineers. As a team, they went 1-8 with runners in scoring position. “We had chances. This team always finds a way though. Bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning. The offense always finds a way to get you back into the game. Our offense is good enough to do that we just didn’t get many big hits when we needed them today.” Said Mazey.
West Virginia will need to get the bats going in a series deciding game three Saturday at Noon.