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Takeaways: Austin Davis Returns, Carlson Reed Earns a Save For WVU Baseball



WVU Baseball reliever Carlson Reed winds up to throw.

WVU Baseball opened their series with the TCU Horned Frogs with a 5-4 win on Friday. West Virginia saw a sensational play from an old friend, two home runs provided all the offense the Mountaineers needed, and closer Carlson Reed slammed the door shut as the game came down to the wire. The win moved West Virginia to the second-best record in the Big 12 (6-4), trailing only Texas (8-5).

Two Swings

All of the Mountaineers’ offense came on a pair of swings on Friday. Left fielder Landon Wallace set the tone early, obliterating a ball 440 feet to left-center in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Third baseman Sam White added his contribution in the fourth, giving WVU Baseball a commanding 5-1 lead with a three-run blast of his own. 

West Virginia managed just one hit the rest of the way, a fifth-inning double from catcher Dayne Leonard, but they saved enough runs in the bank to outlast TCU.

On a day where the Horned Frogs outhit the Mountaineers 8-6, West Virginia’s batters made the most of their base knocks by depositing them over the outfield wall.

Davis Returns

Horned Frogs’ right fielder Austin Davis spent the first four years of his collegiate career in Morgantown, graduating from WVU. The 5-foot-11, 175 pound right-hander is an excellent hitter, batting .301 with 12 home runs in 202 collegiate games, but his biggest impact comes in the field. 

Davis made a highlight reel play in the second inning, diving over a wall in foul territory to make an out against designated hitter Logan Sauve.

The Mountaineers’ pitchers got the better of Davis on Friday, as he went 1-for-5. His lone hit was an RBI double in the seventh inning that closed the gap to 5-4. 

Davis came up again in the bottom of the ninth inning, when Reed induced a groundout to end the game. 

Reed said after the game that he knew it would be him against Davis with the outcome on the line.

“I actually told him I thought that’s how it was gonna end,” Reed said. “He’s a great player, and will always be up there to battle.”

Carlson Reed Stars Again

Reed, a former starter, has a 1.08 ERA in 25 innings this season, striking out 36 batters in that time. He’s made a name for himself with lengthy relief appearances like the one he turned in Friday night, making eight outs on 40 pitches and spurring the Mountaineers to victory. 

He began his outing on Friday with a cobra-like pickoff move, spinning in a half circle and whipping a throw to second base, catching the Horned Frogs’ lead runner napping.

With the stuff of a closer (he can hit the mid 90s with his fastball) and the longevity of a starter, any time Reed enters the game makes for a must-see opportunity. 

Even though Reed earned the save, he didn’t have his best stuff: Mazey noted after the game that Reed struggled to locate his off-speed pitches. Even so, Mazey said he didn’t think about pulling Reed from the game. 

“Carlson’s our guy. He’s been our guy…he is starting to really enjoy that moment,” Mazey said. “That’s something that’s pretty hard to teach, to be good when the game’s on the line and one of your old buddies is at the plate.”

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