WVU Baseball Sweeps TCU with 17-7 Mercy Rule Win
WVU Baseball completed their sweep of the TCU Horned Frogs with a 17-7 win on Sunday, strengthening their hold on first place in the Big 12.
West Virginia built an 11-1 lead early, but the Horned Frogs made it interesting with a pair of home runs in the middle innings. Six more runs in the seventh gave the Mountaineers the mercy rule victory.
First baseman Grant Hussey reached base five times in five plate appearances, including a three-run bomb in the seventh inning.
🚍🚍@Grant_Hussey616 with a three-run blast!!!
Mountaineers back up 15-7 in the seventh!#HailWV pic.twitter.com/evrkDGYx3v
— WVU Baseball (@WVUBaseball) April 23, 2023
True freshman starter Robby Porco started strong, but struggled toward the end of his outing.
The Mountaineers loaded the bases with no outs in the second, but consecutive strikeouts jeopardized the scoring threat. Third baseman Sam White reached on an error to open the scoring, and shortstop Tevin Tucker drew a bases loaded walk that made it 2-0.
Porco didn’t allow a hit until the third inning, when a walk and a single put runners at the corners. Second baseman Tre Richardson singled to cut the lead to 2-1. Porco then walked the bases loaded, but worked a strikeout and groundout to limit the damage.
Mountaineers’ catcher Dayne Leonard led off the third with a double. Again, the Mountaineers threatened to strand the runner with a strikeout and a pop up, but Hussey lifted a single the opposite way to go up 3-1.
Mountaineers Off to the Races
West Virginia began to pour it on in the fourth inning, when they batted around the order.
White singled to start the rally, and Tucker reached on a bunt to put two on. A flyout moved both into scoring position, and Leonard singled to right-center to score them. Another single and a hit batter loaded the bases. Hussey wore a pitch and center fielder Braden Barry drew a walk to score two more.
JJ Wetherholt, who missed four games with a hand injury, pinch-hit (then stepped in as the designated hitter), doubling to right field to clear the bases. Wetherholt moved to third on a wild pitch, then scored on a sacrifice fly from White as the Mountaineers went up 11-1.
Not Over Yet
TCU reeled the Mountaineers back in over the next two innings with a pair of home runs.
The Horned Frogs loaded the bases in the top of the fifth with a single sandwiched between free passes. First baseman Cole Fontenelle cleared them with a grand slam, chasing Porco from the game.
Shortstop Anthony Silva led off the sixth with a walk, and center fielder Elijah Nunez hit a home run of his own to close the gap to 11-7.
Hussey Slams the Door
West Virginia walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh. Infielder Ellis Garcia reached on a fielder’s choice that slipped out of Horned Frogs’ left fielder Jake Duer’s glove to scrape a run across. Hussey’s three-run shot happened three pitches later, as the Mountaineers opened a 15-7 lead.
Barry followed that with a double, and Wetherholt singled him home. Wetherholt moved to second on a walk from White, stole third and came home on an infield hit from Tucker to win the game via mercy rule.
WVU Baseball moves to 29-11 on the season (8-4 Big 12). The Mountaineers look to split their season series with the Penn State Nittany Lions at 6:30 pm Tuesday.