On a balmy night in Statesboro, Georgia, the WVU Mountaineers (3-2) got their 3-game series off to a hot start after a 5-1 win over the Georgia Southern Eagles (1-3) on Friday night.
Alek Manoah (1-0, 0.73 ERA) had another dominant outing today, throwing 6.1 innings and striking out 8, all while allowing just 2 hits, 2 walks and 1 unearned run. Manoah’s consecutive strong starts have placed him squarely in the middle of any MLB scout’s radar. With a fastball clocked in the mid-to-upper 90’s, along with his bat-dodging ability (21 K’s in just 12.1 innings so far), his draft stock is skyrocketing. He’ll face a really tough challenge next weekend, as he’ll go up against the defending national champions, the Oregon State Beavers.
The scoring got started in the top of the 3rd inning, as senior RF Darius Hill hit a single right over the head of the GSU 3rd baseman for a RBI single that scored LF TJ Lake.
It took 4 more innings, but the Mountaineers were able to extend their lead to 3-0 after a sacrifice bunt by TJ Lake that scored 3B Tristen Hudson and a RBI groundout by SS Tevin Tucker that scored Lake.
In the bottom of the 7th, Manoah was pulled for closer Sam Kessler by Coach Mazey after allowing a 1-out single to right field by GSU LF Mason McWhorter. He came around to score after CF Brandon White committed an error on an errant throw.
WVU extended their lead in the top of the 8th after back-to-back walks by Hill and 1B Marques Inman on a RBI double by C Ivan Gonzalez that scored Hill. 3B Tristen Hudson then gave the Mountaineers the 5-1 lead after a sacrifice fly to left field scored Inman.
Closing pitcher Sam Kessler (1) came in and recorded 2.2 scoreless innings of relief for his first save of the season. He gave up 3 hits, but struck out 5 batters to send the Eagles home.
The Mountaineers will be back in action tomorrow for a doubleheader against the Eagles. Just like last weekend, inclement weather is expected in the Statesboro area on Sunday afternoon, so that game was moved up in anticipation of that.
The first game will start at 1PM. You can watch here and listen here. WVU will send Jackson Wolf (1-0, 1.80 ERA) to the mound for his second start of the season.
The second game will start at 6PM. You can watch here and listen here. WVU will send Kade Strowd (0-0, 6.23 ERA) out there looking to improve upon his first performance.
If you missed our series preview that came out earlier today, you can find it here. The Eagles are not a team to be taken lightly, so the Mountaineers will have a challenge tomorrow as they look to earn their first series win of the year.
Let’s go, Mountaineers!