What is the best feeling in the world in baseball? It has to be hitting a grand slam. What’s the best way to hit a grand slam? Hitting one in front of your home crowd and Victor Scott did just that yesterday as the Mountaineers had a hell of a day in their home opener as they blasted two home runs, scored two runs and collected 7 RBIs on the day.
The Mountaineers got off to a hot start early when they scored four runs in the second inning, taking advantage of several Canisius errors throughout the day. Grant Hussey and McGwire Holbrook singled, then advanced an extra base on a throwing error by the centerfielder. Second basemen Mikey Kluska would plate the two runners with a single and just like that the Mountaineers were up 2-0 early. Catcher Dayne Leonard would plate Kluska with a hit and the Mountaineers ended the second inning up 3-0.
In the third inning, freshman sparkplug JJ Wetherholt singled then took two bases on a passed ball by the catcher. The man of the day, centerfielder Victor Scott would start his RBI day with a sacrifice fly.
Canisius, however, would not go away easily.
“Canisius always comes in here and plays us tough. They can always swing the bats. They always give us a game and of course they did it again”, said head coach Randy Mazey.
In the top of the fourth inning, Mountaineer starter Zach Bravo started in the inning by hitting a batter with two strikes. He seemed to be ready to get out of the inning with two quick outs but Canisius “gave them a game” as three-straight extra base hits turned a 4-0 game into a 4-3 nailbiter.
That would be as close as they would get as the Mountaineers used a 2-run fifth inning and a 5-run sixth inning to put the game away. A 6-run seventh inning turned the game into a blowout.
The fifth inning highlighted the fun in watching “Mazey ball”. JJ Wetherholt singled and advanced to second on Victor Scott’s semi-sacrifice bunt. Holbrook and Hussey walked to load the bases and then Kluska grounded into a 4-6-3 double play but hustled down the line and beat out the throw to first to let a run score. A wild pitch would score another run. One hit, plus two walks, a fielder’s choice and a wild pitch led to two runs. One hit, two runs.
The sixth inning showed the Mountaineers power as the Mountaineers again loaded the bases, but this time, it wasn’t mental errors that let the good guys score. JJ Wetherholt doubled to deep left field and cleared the bases, driving in three runs. Victor Scott blasted a no-doubt homerun for his first of the day.
Mazey came into the day wanting to use a lot of players and pitchers, and the offensive outburst made that an easy decision for the skipper.
“We had intentions of using a lot of pitchers tonight”, said Mazey, but the offensive production has been a surprise “We’re ahead of schedule, I think, on our offense. We’ve never swung it, this good, this early. Hopefully that’s a sign of things to come”.
Victor Scott would put the game away with a moonshot blast grand slam in the seventh inning.
On the day, the Mountaineers got 4 innings out of starter Zach Bravo followed by two innings from Michael Kilker. Ben Abernathy, Kevin Dowdell, Daniel Ouderkirk and Will Watson finished the day. The Mountaineers struck out 11 batters while allowing only 7 hits and 1 walk.
Every starter reached base and every starter had a hit other than Tevin Tucker, who walked three times.
- Freshman third basemen JJ Wetherholt is currently hitting .406 on the young season with 4 extra base hits in 32 at-bats. He also had 3 stolen bases so far.
- Austin Davis has hit over .300 the past two years and is currently sitting at .303 on the young season.
- Victor Scott now has 3 homeruns already, after only hitting 5 in his first two seasons with the Mountaineers.
- Grant Hussey snapped a 3-game hitless streak with a 2-4 day at the plate.
- McGwire Holbrook has collected a hit in 5 of the last 6 games and is now batting .471 with a .667 slugging.