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WVU Baseball Wins Series Over BYU After Splitting Doubleheader



WVU Baseball glove

A day after the WVU Baseball offense led the way to beat BYU, it was up to West Virginia’s defense to take the series over the Cougars. 

To start things off, the Mountaineers starter David Hagaman cruised through two perfect innings, striking out four batters—on the way to eight punch-outs in five innings—but ran into trouble starting with the bottom of BYU’s lineup. West Virginia’s offense had ample opportunities, but couldn’t scrape across the runs they needed.

Cougars first baseman Cooper Vest laced a double to the right-center gap with two outs in the fourth. A wild pitch got away from Hagaman, giving Vest a chance to take third base, and catcher Sam White committed a throwing error trying to salvage the play, letting Vest come around to score.

A leadoff walk from shortstop Brock Watkins helped the Cougars double their lead in the fifth inning. A groundout pushed Watkins into scoring position, then he scored on a single from right fielder Keoni Painter.

Spencer Barnett continued his hot-hitting series with the first pitch of the sixth, golfing it into the Mountaineers’ bullpen to make it 2-1. Brodie Kresser doubled with no outs, but the heart of West Virginia’s order couldn’t bring him home.

After two early strikeouts, the Cougars rallied in the eighth to add an insurance run.

BYU loaded the bases against Tommy Beam in the ninth inning. Catcher Collin Reuter singled to center field, then Aaron Jamison cut off the play to limit the damage to one run.

Ellis Garcia singled, then Nick Barone walked to bring the tying run to the plate with the Mountaineers down to their final out. Head coach Randy Mazey subbed in Grant Hussey to pinch hit, and the big first baseman went down swinging on a full count to end the game.

Game 2

Left-handed transfer Derek Clark got the start in game two, making his first appearance for the Mountaineers as Mazey and his staff continue to try to figure out this year’s rotation. Clark wasted no time getting started, striking out the side in the first inning on the way to a five inning, seven strikeout debut.

Sylar King singled with one out in the bottom of the inning, taking second on a wild pitch. White singled, giving King an opportunity to try for home, but Cougars left fielder Luke Anderson threw a strike to Reuter to maintain a scoreless tie. 

Kyle West singled and Barone walked in the second, then true freshman left fielder Michael Perazza singled to record the first RBI of his young career.

Perazza got it done with his glove in the fifth inning, making a diving catch to rob Vest of extra bases from the leadoff spot. Gavin Van Kempen loaded the bases in the seventh, but forced a popout to preserve the lead.

Grant Hussey then came off the bench and sent a runner home from the third to tack on one more run for a 2-0 cushion. Nothing else would be needed from there as the Mountaineers earned another conference victory.

WVU Baseball now sits at 9-7 on the season (2-1, Big 12). Up next, they’ll travel to Charleston, W. Va. to take on the Marshall Thundering Herd at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12.

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