There is always a first time for everything and this year appears to be a year where the West Virginia Mountaineers are looking to do a lot of good first things. Randy Mazey’s ballclub went into TCU, the #12 ranked team in the nation, a place where the Mountaineers have historically struggled in Big 12 play, and took a weekend series. Four times in the past, the Mountaineers have left Fort Worth after being swept, so the series win is a big deal.
Friday night, the Mountaineers stole home twice to steal a victory from TCU. Saturday, starter Ben Hampton allowed a 2 run homer in the 6th inning that put TCU up 5-4 and the Mountaineers couldn’t find that elusive 5th run as the series was now tied up. Entering Sunday, however, the Mountaineers made sure they were bringing home a victory.
Austin Davis started the game with a lead off single and by now you know what happens when the top of the order guys get on base. SPEED KILLS. Austin stole second and Victor Scott singled to make the game 1-0. Victor Scott, who leads the Big 12 in stolen bases, took third on a Grant Hussey single and then McGwire Holbrook singled to make the game 2-0.
The two runs were more than enough for Sunday starter Zach Bravo who proceeded to throw 5 innings on the day. He didn’t allow a run until the 4th inning and by then, West Virginia was already up 5-0. Bravo finished the day with 5 IP, 2 Ks and 3 walks. He was effectively wild.
In the fourth inning, it looked like West Virginia was going to go quietly after Grant Hussey and McGwire Holbrook were retired to start the inning but then the Mountaineers strung together four straight at bats where they reached base and broke the game open. Braden Barry singled and then Dayne Leonard was hit by a pitch to crowd the bases. Second basemen Mikey Kluska singled to make it 3-0. Next came light hitting shortstop Tevin Tucker, who missed a 3-run homer by three feet and had to settle for a bases clearing double.
That would be more than enough for the Mountaineers to cruise to victory. TCU would add a run in the bottom of the fourth and one more in the bottom of the sixth but that would be all she wrote. Closer Trey Braithwaite came in and slammed the down with 3.2 (!!) IP and 3 strikeouts including the series clincher.
The team will be back in Morgantown on Wednesday to take on Marshall at 6:30 PM. Come support the team and HAVE FUN!