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West Virginia Falls to Kennesaw State in Season Opener

Mountaineers allow big 7th inning which sparked the Owls to the victory.

Ivan Gonzalez
John Lowe/The Daily Athenaeum

The West Virginia Mountaineer baseball team got their season off to disappointing start on Friday afternoon after losing to the Kennesaw State Owls 5 - 3.

Alek Manoah started the game for the Mountaineers and threw six dazzling innings, giving up 5 hits and 2 runs (only one earned), striking out 13 and walking 0. Manoah earned a quality start and got a no-decision. The Golden Spikes Award watch list nominee began his campaign with a dominant outing. He’ll look to build on this performance next Friday vs. Georgia Southern University.

WVU got the scoring started in the top of the 1st, as RF Darius Hill hit a 1-out triple past the diving glove of KSU CF Alex Carballo. Hill was driven in two batters later on a groundout by DH Paul McIntosh - his first as a Mountaineer.

In the bottom of the 5th, KSU got 3B David Chabut into scoring position with 2 outs after a throwing error by WVU 3B Kevin Brophy. The next batter, CF Alex Caballo hit a line drive to center field that scored KSU’s first run.

WVU would answer in the top of the 6th, however, as WVU loaded the bases for catcher Ivan Gonzalez, who roped a 2-RBI double to left-center field making the game 3-1.

In the bottom of that same inning, KSU SS Tyler Simon smacked a leadoff double down the left-field line and then advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch by Manoah. One batter later, LF Garrett Hodges drove him in with a single to right field, making the game 3-2.

The game turned to Kennesaw State as soon as Coach Mazey removed SP Alek Manoah from the game in the 7th inning. Junior LHP Nick Snyder really struggled in his first outing of the year, hitting a batter, then walking the next two to load the bases with just one out. Mazey removed Snyder after he fell behind the next hitter 1-0 in favor of true freshman LHP Beau Lowery. Lowery unfortunately was not able to pitch out of the jam, as Kennesaw State sophomore SS Tyler Simon bounced into a fielder’s choice-turned-error by WVU 2B Tyler Doanes, which allowed two Owls to score. LF Garrett Hodges then singled to RF again to score Simon and KSU went up 5-3, where it would remain for the rest of the afternoon.

WVU’s weekend schedule has been amended to deal with inclement weather expected to be in the Atlanta area on Sunday. They will now play a doubleheader tomorrow.