For the second straight outing to start the season, junior lefty Jackson Wolf gave West Virginia seven strong innings on the mound and guided the team to a win.
Wolf (2-0, 0.00) pitched seven full innings, allowing only one unearned run and striking out eight on 101 pitches Friday evening as the Mountaineers defeated Kennesaw State 7-1 in the team’s first of four games at the Brittain Resorts Invitational this weekend.
After Wolf struck out two in a scoreless top of the first, the West Virginia offense wasted no time putting runs on the board. left fielder Breden Zarbnisky singled to open the game and then eventually advanced to this base after a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch. From there he was driven in on a single by catcher Paul McIntosh. After center fielder Victor Scott struck out, third baseman Kevin Brophy smacked a ground-rule double that moved McIntosh to third and scored first baseman Matt McCormick, who had walked.
With two runners in scoring position designated hitter Vince Ippoliti singled through the left side to score both McIntosh and Brophey and the Mountaineers took a 4-0 first-inning lead. Wolf continued to deal, inducing double plays in both the second and third innings.
The Mountaineers loaded the bases in the bottom of the third innings and caches in an RBI single from right fielder Austin Davis and a fielder’s choice hit by shortstop Tevin Tucker to give WVU a 6-0 lead.
Kennesaw’s lone run came in the top of the seventh when the Owls hit three straight singles, aided by a throwing error from Brophy to push across a single run. West Virginia would get that run back in the bottom of the eight, however.
Tyler DeMartino pinch hit for Ippoliti and reached on an error. Dominic Ragazzo pinch ran for DeMartino. Ragazzo advances to third on a single by Davis and eventually scored when Davis was picked off trying to steal second base.
Beau Lowrey pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth innings for WVU and the Mountaineers were victorious 7-1. Zarbnisky and McIntosh both finished with two hits while Davis ended the night with three. Ippoliti had the only multi-RBI day with a pair. McIntosh also had one RBI and scored two runs.
The Mountaineers’ next opponent in South Carolina is Saint Joseph’s tomorrow at 2 p.m.