West Virginia concluded their brief two-game series at Morehead State with a series split. The Eagles are a solid program, fresh off a NCAA Tournament appearance last season, so even taking one of these games is impressive.
Tuesday, March 12th
The Mountaineers (10-5) defeated the Morehead State Eagles (10-5) on Tuesday afternoon by a score of 9 to 3. The dangerous Eagles lineup, which was averaging over 8 runs per game coming into today was held in check by the Mountaineer pitching staff.
Coming into this series, the Mountaineers knew that they would need to score runs. The Morehead State Eagles have been a dangerous team offensively through 14 games, averaging more than 8 runs per game and batting over .300. Thankfully, WVU’s pitching staff has been excellent so far this season and they lived up to that bill in the series opener on Tuesday.
Nick Snyder, the Mountaineers #4 starter, allowing just 2 runs in 6 innings, while striking out 10 batters. He was replaced by freshman Beau Lowery, who came in and gave up 1 run in 3 innings of work with 3 strikeouts.
In the top of the 1st, Darius Hill hit a 3-run home run to right field after Tyler Doanes and Ivan Gonzalez reached base to start the game. The Mountaineers jumped on Morehead State starter Alex Garbrick early and often, knocking him out of this game after just 2.2 innings pitched.
Paul McIntosh hit a RBI double that scored Kevin Brophy in the top of the 3rd and then came around to score on a wild pitch just a few batters later. Morehead State was able to get a run back in the bottom of the inning on a RBI single by Trevor Snyder.
Paul McIntosh hit his 3rd home run of the season in the top of the 5th, a solo shot, to enter himself in a three way tie for the lead on the Mountaineers. The Eagles were able to manufacture another run in the bottom of the 5th off of Nick Snyder.
Ivan Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly to deep left field that scored Tevin Tucker in the top of the 7th and when Beau Lowery allowed Morehead State to get their 3rd run off a solo home run by Connor Pauly, the Mountaineers answered right back in the top of the 8th when Tyler Doanes hit a 2-run home run to push their lead to 9-3.
Wednesday, March 13th
After jumping out to an early lead, the Mountaineers (10-6) weren’t able to hold on as the Eagles (11-5) stormed back to salvage a split in the series.
In their first midweek series of the season, it was unclear who the Mountaineers would put on the hill to start this game. Coach Mazey elected to go with freshman right hander Brock Helverson for his first collegiate start. It was a rough outing for the young hurler, he lasted just 2.1 innings, allowing 8 hits, 8 runs (6 earned), with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts. He put WVU in a poor position to come out on top in today’s ballgame, but outings like this can be expected when facing a lineup as deep as the Eagles.
The offense started hot for WVU, as Ivan Gonzalez and Marques Inman each hit 1st inning homers off of MSU starter Garret Rogers and then Tevin Tucker was able to score on an error in the 2nd to give WVU 4 early runs. However, Morehead State responded by putting 8 runs on the board in the 3rd inning and blowing this one open to 8-4. Each team added another run in the 4th inning to make it 9-5 and then WVU scored their final run on a wild pitch in the 7th inning.
Ultimately, splitting this midweek series with the Eagles should be looked upon favorably for the Mountaineers. With a lineup as dangerous statistically as the Eagles boast, the fact that our #4 and #5 pitchers were able to limit them to 12 runs in 2 games is something to be proud of. Obviously, a sweep would’ve been preferred, but fans should be content with walking out of Morehead, Kentucky with 1 win.
The Mountaineers will return to Morgantown for a few days before heading east to Williamsburg, Virginia where they will take on William & Mary for a series this weekend. Tune back into The Smoking Musket tomorrow evening for a W & M series preview!