The first game of today’s doubleheader ended well for the Mountaineers (1-1), as they picked up an 8 to 2 victory over the Georgia State Panthers (0-2) in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Mountaineers got off to a fast start after their disappointing loss on Opening Day, striking twice in the top of the 1st inning against Panthers starting pitcher Jake Rogers (0-1). After leadoff man Tyler Doanes was hit by a pitch, consecutive walks to Darius Hill and Marques Inman loaded the bases and after Rogers walked catcher Paul McIntosh, Doanes was able to stroll across home plate for WVU’s first run. Two batters later, designated hitter Tristen Hudson hit a sacrifice fly to center field that allowed Hill to come in to score to make the score 2-0.
The Panthers finally got on the board in the bottom of the 5th after right fielder Brandon Bell hit his first home run of the season - a solo shot to lead off the inning, making the score 2-1.
WVU answered right back in the top of the 6th, scoring 4 runs. After catcher Paul McIntosh singled and 3rd baseman Ivan Gonzalez walked to start the inning, GSU pulled their starting pitcher in favor of RHP Liam Henry. Designated hitter Tristen Hudson then layed down a perfect sacrifice bunt that advanced the runners to 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Coach Mazey then brought in Kevin Brophy to pinch hit, but the Panthers elected to intentionally walk him to load the bases and face the freshman SS Tevin Tucker. Freshman Austin Davis was entered into the ballgame to pinch-run for Brophy at 1st. A wild pitch by Henry allowed all the runners to move up and scored McIntosh from 3rd. Tucker then smacked a single - his first collegiate hit - that scored Gonzalez and Davis making the score 5-1. Center fielder Brandon White then pulled the ball down the left field line for an RBI double, scoring Tucker and extending the lead to 6-1.
In the top of the 9th, second baseman Tyler Doanes scored on an RBI groundout by McIntosh and right fielder Darius Hill scored on a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Tristen Hudson putting WVU up 8-1.
In the bottom of the 9th, freshman reliever Brock Helverson gave up an RBI double to GSU first baseman Jake Corso that gave the Panthers their 2nd run of the game. He struck out right fielder Enrique Ferrer to end the game.
Starting pitcher Jackson Wolf (1-0) pitched well in his first start of the season, throwing 5.0 innings, allowing just one earned run on 4 hits, striking out 4 and walking 2. Coach Mazey’s Saturday starter controlled the tempo and effectively limited Georgia State’s opportunities, getting timely outs to ensure the Panthers couldn’t score. He’ll get the nod again next Saturday against Georgia Southern.
Freshman reliever Ryan Bergert pitched incredibly well in his first career outing, tossing 3.0 perfect innings and also striking out 3 to put the nail in Georgia State’s coffin.
Freshmen Come Up Big
The Class of 2022 made their impact on this ballgame with freshmen Tevin Tucker, Austin Davis, Ryan Bergert, Brock Helverson and Phillip Dull all contributing to the Mountaineer victory.
- Tucker (SS) went 1-4 with 2 RBI’s and a run scored.
- Davis (PR/LF) went 1-1 with his first collegiate hit and stolen base.
- Bergert (RP) threw 3.0 perfect innings, striking out 3.
- Dull (PH/CF) went 0-1 with a pop-out to 2nd base.
- Helverson (RP) threw 1.0 inning, giving up two hits, one run and striking out one batter.
WVU Plays Georgia Tech at 6PM
Due to inclement weather expected in the Atlanta region on Sunday, the finale of the Atlanta Challenge vs. Georgia Tech (1-1) has been moved up to tonight at 6PM. The Mountaineers will send Kade Strowd to the mound to start the game against the dangerous ACC opponent.
You can watch the game via WatchESPN here, or follow along live here.