West Virginia went from up 3-2 and only a few outs away to watching Wake Forest celebrate as they advanced to the championship game in the Winston-Salem regional.
The game could not have started any better for the Mountaineers. Kyle Gray started the game with a double. After Ivan Gonzalez lined out, Darius Hill singled, scoring Gray. A Cole Austin foul-out preceded a Jackson Cramer bomb to right field that gave the Mountaineers an early 3-0 lead.
Unfortunately, that was the only runs the Mountaineers would score all game and it wound up being one run too few. The game stayed 3-0 until the fifth inning when Wake was able to plate two runs cutting the lead to one.
The inning provided the play that may have swung the momentum fully for the Demon Deacons. With two outs and a runner of first, Braeden Zarbinsky came in on relief. He was able Jonathan Pryor to roll over on a pitcher and ground out. The Mountaineers looked to have escaped the inning, but the home plate ump ruled the ball hit Pryor while he was in the batter’s box, making it a dead ball foul. Pryor was given a second chance and he used that to double in the tying run.
West Virginia had a chance in the eight inning to get back on top. With runners on first and second and only one out, Jackson Cramer and Kyle Davis both struck out, ending the threat for the Mountaineers.
With the win, Wake Forest advances to the championship game. With the loss, the Mountaineers will take on Maryland tomorrow at noon. Should the Mountaineers win, they will play Wake Forest at 5 PM.
For the Mountaineers to win the Winston-Salem regional, they will need to win tomorrow at noon, tomorrow at 5 pm and Monday at 7 PM. Three wins in two days are what separates the Mountaineers from the next round of the NCAA Tournament.