WVU Baseball Sweeps Doubleheader Against Canisius, VCU
The West Virginia Mountaineers swept their doubleheader against a pair of opponents, downing the VCU Rams and Canisius Golden Griffins in Richmond on Saturday.
Dayne Leonard had a huge day, batting in the winning run in each of the games.
Blaine Traxel pitched a complete game for his second straight start, keeping the bullpen fresh in the doubleheader. Once again, Traxel struggled to start. The Rams leapt out to a 4-0 lead, tagging Traxel for three runs—two earned—in the first, and another in second.
West Virginia began to claw back in the third. Leonard got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. After a pair of strikeouts, Ellis Garcia singled in two more runs to make it 4-3.
VCU’s Will Carlone hit a solo home run to left center, but Leonard did him one better, hitting a three-run blast to give West Virginia a 6-5 lead, their first of the afternoon.
From there Traxel retired 18 of his last 20 batters faced, taking the lead and running with it. JJ Wetherholt hit a two-run shot in the ninth to make it easier to leave Traxel in the game, and the veteran stayed on to put VCU away in the 8-5 victory.
Traxel allowed four earned runs, punching out ten.
Canisius Golden Griffins
West Virginia played as the home team in the second game of the day.
Right fielder Logan Wallace gave the Mountaineers a 1-0 lead, doubling in a run in the second inning.
Braden Barry saved a run in the fourth, working an 8-2 double play as he threw home to nail a Canisius runner at the plate.
Wetherholt scored Wallace on an RBI single to double West Virginia’s lead in the fifth.
While the Mountaineers’ bats quieted in game two, starting pitcher Ben Hampton was up for the task. Hampton threw 7.2 innings on 122 pitches, striking out seven batters. It wasn’t his best game—he allowed eight hits—but Hampton managed to pitch through traffic and keep Canisius off the board.
David Hagaman entered for Hampton with two outs and a runner on in the eighth. A wild pitch put the runner in scoring position, and Hagaman allowed an RBI single by Josh Niles as the Golden Griffins closed the gap to 2-1.
He sailed a pickoff attempt that put Niles on third, then another wild pitch tied the game.
Wetherholt singled in the home half, taking second on a fielding error. Leonard hit another single to give West Virginia a 3-2 lead back, and the Mountaineers hung on for victory.
West Virginia moves to 6-3 on the season. They’ll finish the Virginia road trip against Richmond at 12pm Sunday.