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#17 Mountaineers Strike Late to Take Down Longhorns 3-2

Two clutch home runs in the last 2 innings propelled the Mountaineers to a series opening win in Austin.

Marques Inman
John Lowe/The Daily Athenaeum

#17 West Virginia Mountaineers: 3

Texas Longhorns: 2

Longhorn starter Bryce Elder had a perfect game into the 6th inning, but the Mountaineers got the last laugh, taking the HORNS DOWN 3-2 on Friday night.

Tonight’s game featured excellent pitching on both sides.

Alek Manoah FINALLY allowed a run, ending his scoreless streak at 33 innings - unbelievable. He wasn’t his “dominant” self (meaning he didn’t throw a complete game shutout or strike out double digits), but he was still outstanding on the mound. He allowed just 1 run in 7.0 innings, giving up 7 hits and 2 walks while striking out 8 in a no-decision.

On the other side, Bryce Elder had his best game of the season. The Longhorn starter had a perfect game into the 6th inning, as mentioned previously, and didn’t allow the Mountaineers to get a hit until the 7th inning. He finished 7.2 innings, giving up just 2 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 13 in a no-decision.

The Longhorns got the scoring started with a RBI single by Todd in the 3rd inning, but Manoah was able to limit the damage to just that lone run.

Fast forward 5 innings and things were looking pretty bleak for WVU. Coach Mazey decided to insert TJ Lake as a pinch-hitter after Kevin Brophy drew a 2-out walk. That turned out to be a great decision, as Lake delivered a go-ahead 2-run home run that finally woke up the Mountaineer offense and bounced Elder from the ballgame.

Nick Snyder replaced Manoah in the bottom of the 8th, but immediately gave up a base hit to Kennedy and Mazey decided to ask his closer for a 6-out save. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to slam the door, as Ryan Reynolds hit a 2-out single that drove Kennedy home to tie the game at 2.

The Mountaineers are a team you don’t want to give a chance to in the late innings of a game. In seemingly every game, WVU comes up with a clutch at-bat to take the lead, and more often than not, the guy that comes through in Marques Inman. He did that again tonight when he hit a 1-out dinger to left field to give WVU a 3-2 lead in the top of the 9th.

Kessler came back in for the bottom of the 9th, and subsequently threw a 1-2-3 inning to lock down win #25 for WVU and deliver them a series-opening victory.

These two teams will be back in action tomorrow at 3:30PM ET for game 2 of the series. Tune in to see if WVU can win the series! Let’s go!