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WVU Baseball Opens Big 12 Play With 8-3 Win Over Kansas State



WVU catcher Caleb McNeely

WVU baseball opened Big 12 play with a win Friday, beating the Kansas State Wildcats 8-3 on the road.

Right fielder Caleb McNeely hit for the cycle, legging out a ninth-inning triple to secure the feat and batting in three.

Mountaineers’ starter Ben Hampton went 6.2 innings, punching out 10 and allowing three runs on 121 pitches, holding down the fort on a windy day.

Kansas State took a 2-0 lead in the first inning with home runs by center fielder Brendan Jones and third baseman Kaelen Culpepper.

The Mountaineers tied it up in the top of the second inning. Right fielder Caleb McNeely began the inning with an opposite-field home run. Corner infielders Ellis Garcia and Grant Hussey traded places with two doubles to make it 2-2.

Second baseman JJ Wetherholt led off the third with a single, taking second and third on two sacrifice plays. McNeely singled him home and gave WVU a 3-2 lead.

McNeely barely missed another home run with runners at the corners in the fifth, doubling off the top of the right field wall to make it 4-2. Designated hitter Sam White grounded out to score another. 

Shortstop Tevin Tucker singled against Wildcats’ starter Owen Boerema with two outs in the sixth. Wetherholt made Boerema pay for the mistake, drilling a home run to right to go up 7-2.

After retiring 13 in a row—including eight strikeouts—Hampton loaded the bases in the sixth.

He limited the damage to a bases loaded walk, moving to the seventh with a 7-3 lead.

Junior flamethrower Carlson Reed took over with two outs in the seventh, striking out the first batter he faced.

Hussey hit a solo shot in the eighth to go up 8-3.

WVU baseball moves to 20-6 on the season, 1-0 in Big 12 play. The series with the Wildcats continues tomorrow at 5pm EDT, with standout pitcher Blaine Traxel set to start.

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