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West Virginia Takes Nightcap on a Walk-off Wild Pitch

The Mountaineers blew a late lead, but came back to win the nightcap to clinch the series win vs. Kansas in Coach Mazey’s 400th career win.

The Mountaineers sing “Country Roads” after the win.
Mike Miller/The Smoking Musket

#20 West Virginia Mountaineers: 4

Kansas Jayhawks: 3

This game may as well have been played on two completely different days.

When the game started at around 2:30, it was sunny and about 80 degrees. By the end of the game, however, it was raining, windy, and around 50 degrees. The Mountaineers were able to do just enough, yet again, as they walked off the Jayhawks 4-3, this time on a wild-pitch in the 11th.

After falling behind 1-0 in the 6th, they tied it on a solo home run by LF Paul McIntosh in the bottom of the inning.

As the inning came to a conclusion, a storm system went past Morgantown that brought high winds and hail to Monongalia County Ballpark which delayed it for about 45 minutes.

When play resumed, WVU was ready to deliver their skipper his 400th career win.

Darius Hill started the 7th with a walk and Marques Inman followed with a single to put runners on the corners and nobody out. Kansas got their 1st out after they induced a pop-out by McIntosh, but Nathan Berry threw a wild pitch in the next at-bat to allow Hill to score and make it 2-1 Mountaineers.

Berry walked the next batter, Ivan Gonzalez and then struck out Kevin Brophy before being pulled in favor of RHP Stone Parker. Phillip Dull, the freshman who got the start at 3B tonight, connected with an 0-1 pitch for a RBI single that scored Tristen Hudson, who had came in to pinch-run for Inman, from 2nd to make it 3-1 WVU.

Unfortunately, Kansas was able to respond in the top of the 9th on a 2-RBI single by Rudy Karre to tie it at 3 and send this game to extras.

After a scoreless 10th, Kansas got a runner all the way to 3rd in the 11th before striking out to end the frame. Then, WVU pulled another walk-off out of its proverbial sleeve.

Brandon White, arguably the most important hitter on the ball club, earned a 1-out single to left field in the bottom of the 11th. Due to his speed, he forced the pitcher to give Darius Hill a healthy dose of fastballs, one of which he was able to square up and hammer it to right field to put runners on the corners with just 1 out.

That brought Tristen Hudson to the plate with a chance to be the hero, but it wasn’t even necessary because KU’s reliever Blake Goldsberry threw a wild pitch that allowed Brandon White to race home and score the winning run, giving the Mountaineers a 4-3 win, a 4th straight series victory and Randy Mazey his 400th career victory as a D1 manager.

The Mountaineers have a flair for the dramatic, it seems. Both games of today’s doubleheader ended with a walk-off. This win puts the Mountaineers at 24-13 (8-6), and most likely secures them a spot in next week’s Top 25 ranking. They’ll go for their first Big XII series sweep of the season tomorrow at 1PM with Kade Strowd on the mound. Maybe instead of bringing chocolate, the Easter bunny will bring a broom to the Mountaineers to sweep the Jayhawks back to Kansas.