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WVU Baseball Secures First-Ever NCAA Regional Championship

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WVU Baseball HC Randy Mazey

WVU Baseball has existed since 1892; the NCAA Baseball tournament since 1947. On Sunday, the Mountaineers advanced through the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, defeating the Grand Canyon Antelopes 10-6 to move on to the Super Regional round.

The Mountaineers scored two runs in the top of the first courtesy of a Reed Chumley sacrifice fly and a Grant Hussey single. Hayden Cooper took the mound in the home half of the inning and couldn’t record a single out, allowing consecutive doubles to start before loading the bases and walking home another run.

Aidan Major took over in relief, allowing one more run to cross via sacrifice fly before escaping the inning. He went on to hose the ‘Lopes for 4.2 innings, allowing just one run. By that point, the Mountaineers had extended their lead to 10-4.

WVU Baseball Surges Ahead

The first six Mountaineers got on base in the second, with Logan Sauve, Sam White and Chumley all contributing one-run singles. West Virginia kept their foot on the gas, plating at least one run in each of the next three innings. Sauve contributed a two-run double in the third, Ben Lumsden an RBI single in the fourth, and White and Hussey each knocked in a run in the fifth.

Left fielder Skylar King hosed down a run at the plate in the seventh, maintaining a six-run lead. Superstar shortstop JJ Wetherholt—who managed three hits on the day—continued to add to his defensive highlights in the following frame, sliding to glove a dribbling grounder before recovering in time to throw to first and get the out.

West Virginia allowed a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, encouraging head coach Randy Mazey to put ace Derek Clark, who pitched nine innings on Friday, in the game to close things out. Clark allowed a single before freezing pinch-hitter Beau Ankeney on a payoff pitch to secured their first-ever regional championship.

WVU Baseball advances to the Super Regional, which will begin on June 7th or 8th. There, they will face the winner of Monday’s game between the LSU Tigers and the North Carolina Tar Heels.

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