Friday night, the West Virginia Mountaineers opening the year with a 10th inning 5-3 win when Vince Ippoliti smashed a two-run homer in the 10th inning. The following day on Saturday, the two teams would play a double header and in the first game, the Mountaineers squandered chances and lost a heartbreaker 7-6. The second game was over after the first inning when the Panthers scored 11 runs in the first inning and cruised to a 20-6 victory. Sunday, the Mountaineers would leave Atlanta, Georgia with a 3-2 victory and series split.
The Mountaineers defense was sloppy in the first two days of action but it would be the Panthers defense that betrayed them on Sunday. First basemen Matt McCormick would continue his hot hitting, lacing a double in the second inning and advancing to third on an error. Panther starting pitcher Chad Treadway would be his own worst enemy with a wild pitch, allowing McCormick to score the first run of the day.
Georgia State would manufacture the tying run in the third inning, following a double and a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to third. A grounder to second would tie the game at one-all. A two-out single in the fourth inning would give the Panthers a 2-1 lead.
In the sixth inning, the Mountaineers would use sloppy Georgia State defense again to score a run, when Paul McIntosh would score on an throwing error by the Panthers. Freshman infielder Mikey Kluska would later bunt down the line and beat out the throw, allowing Victor Scott to score the go-ahead and eventual winning run.
Sophomore Jacob Watters would come on in the ninth inning to secure the first save of the season, striking out the side in the process.
For the four game series, Hudson Byorick would lead the team with five hits in 16 at-bats, with two doubles and a run scored. Matt McCormick went 4-13 with 2 homeruns and a double for 11 total bases in the four game series. He currently slashing .308/.471/.846/1.317. Right fielder Victor Scott had a tough series going 2-16 with four strikeouts.
Friday night starter Jackson Wolf lead the team 7 strikeouts on the mound. Sophomore Jake Carr (from St. Albans), had a rough season debut giving up 10 runs (10 earned) on Saturday night. Eight Mountaineer pitchers in the bullpen pitched at least one inning without allowing a run. Ben Hampton pitched three scoreless innings on Sunday, earning his first win of the season.
West Virginia will head to Myrtle Beach this coming weekend to play in the Coastal Carolina Baseball Tournament. Friday night they will face Kennesaw State. Saturday they face host Coastal Carolina and Sunday will face the Bryant Bulldogs.