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WVU Baseball Sweeps 2023 Backyard Brawl Series with 9-8 Win



WVU Baseball swept the 2023 Backyard Brawl series with a 9-8 nail-biter on the road. 

The Mountaineers built a 9-3 lead early, but the Panthers worked their way back into the game with steady scoring to make for an exciting finish. 

The Panthers got the scoring started with a solo homer from catcher Jayden Melendez. 

First baseman Noah Martinez doubled, taking third on a single and scoring on a groundout to give Pitt a 2-0 lead.

West Virginia claimed the lead three batters later. Designated hitter Dayne Leonard singled, first baseman Grant Hussey walked, and right fielder Caleb McNeely sent a ball over the left field wall for a 3-2 lead. 

Second baseman JJ Wetherholt doubled to start the third, but the Mountaineers couldn’t bring him around to score. Panthers’ designated hitter Jack Anderson opened the fourth with a double, coming around to score on a single from second baseman Justin Acal.

Shortstop Tevin Tucker reached in the fifth with a bunt single, and Wetherholt (who grew up half an hour outside Pittsburgh in Mars, Pa.) homered to the right-center gap. 

Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases, and third baseman Ellis Garcia poked a single through the left side to plate two more. Catcher Logan Sauve added another RBI with a single of his own. Sauve baited a throw to second base on a steal, allowing Garcia to steal home and go up 9-3.

Pitt Inches Back

The Panthers got two back in the bottom of the frame with a pair of RBI singles.

Pitt loaded the bases in the seventh with a walk and two singles. A fielder’s choice (and an error by Wetherholt as he tried to turn a double play) brought home two runs, and a double from Acal made it 9-8.

West Virginia put a runner on third with one out in the eighth, but couldn’t scrape any insurance across. Mountaineers’ reliever David Hagaman dealt a perfect inning in the bottom of the frame to put the Panthers on the ropes.

Reed Slams the Door

Carlson Reed entered in the ninth to attempt the save. A single and a walk kept things interesting, but Reed worked three strikeouts to earn the save and sweep the series.

WVU Baseball moves to 37-12 on the season. They host Texas Tech in their final home series of the regular season this weekend, beginning at 6:30pm Friday.


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