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WVU Baseball Falls 10-0 to Kentucky to End Historic Season



WVU Baseball JJ Wetherholt

WVU Baseball saw their record breaking season come to an end Sunday, as the Kentucky Wildcats eliminated the Mountaineers from the NCAA Tournament with a 10-0 shutout.

They fought off elimination yesterday, but couldn’t run the table in the Kentucky regional after an opening loss to Indiana.

The Mountaineers finish the season 40-20, tying the 1994 team (who went 40-21) for a program record for wins. They also won a share of their first regular season Big 12 Championship.

Kentucky’s pitching locked the Mountaineers down in the game, allowing just six hits (three of which came off the bat of second baseman JJ Wetherholt). The Wildcats’ bats applied steady pressure, meanwhile, piling on until the Mountaineers had no chance of responding.

Starter Grant Siegel hit the first batter he faced with a pitch. The miss cost him, as third baseman Jase Felker opened the scoring with a doublez Two groundouts brought Felker around to score, giving Kentucky a 2-0 lead.

Kentucky designated hitter Reuben Church singled to begin the second, scoring on a double from right fielder Nolan McCarthy.

Missed Opportunities

Mountaineer shortstop Tevin Tucker began the third with a single of his own. Tucker made it to third on a single from Wetherholt, taking advantage of a full count and taking off on the pitch. 

West Virginia couldn’t plate a run, though, as the next two batters struck out.

Kentucky catcher Devin Burkes wore a pitch to get on base in the bottom of the frame. Burkes tried to score from first on a 3-2 single, but Tucker relayed a throw from center fielder Braden Barry to mail him at the plate.

McCarthy hit a two-run homer to right-center to open a 5-0 lead in the fourth.

Wetherholt singled with two outs in the fifth to become the second Mountaineer in program history to notch 100 hits in a season. He stole second, trying to spark a rally on his own, but nothing came of it. 

The Wildcats worked RBI singles in the fifth and seventh innings, pushing the lead to 7-0. Wetherholt doubled to lead off the eighth but Burkes caught him trying to steal third.

Kentucky loaded the bases in the eighth, and Burkes cleared them with a double to go up 10-0.

With nearly half their roster made up of freshman players, WVU Baseball looks to build off this heartbreak as they continue to come into their own, though the loss of veterans like fifth-year transfer Blaine Traxel and five-year Mountaineer Tevin Tucker stings terribly. 

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