Baseball: Offense Powers WVU

By Grant Dovey for
March 05, 2011 01:11 PM
ELON, N.C. – The West Virginia University baseball team exploded offensively with a season-high 12 runs on 18 hits en route to a 12-1 victory over Temple in the first game of a doubleheader for WVU on Saturday morning in Elon, N.C.

Jeremy Gum led the Mountaineers offensively with a 4-for-5 day, including a home run, double, four RBIs and three runs scored. Justin McDavid finished 3 for 5 with a double, RBI and run scored, while Chris Rasky went 3 for 6 with two RBIs. Every Mountaineer starter recorded at least one hit, with four recording two or more hits.

“I was able to get some good pitches to hit and was able to put some good swings on them,” Gum said. “The guys ahead of me in the lineup got on base, they did all of the running, I just tried to drive them in.”

Senior right-hander Andy Berry (1-1) earned the win in eight innings of work, giving up six hits, one run and striking out three. Temple’s Ben White (1-2) took the loss, giving up 10 hits and five runs in 6.1 innings.

“I think team morale is up right now, you obviously don’t want to go into the next came over confident,” Berry said. “We pitched well and hit the ball really well and it’s a boost to our hitters who have been streaky of late.”

West Virginia struck first in the top of the third to take a 1-0 lead. Senior catcher Kevin Griffin hit a one-out double to straight-away center field that bounced off the top of the wall. McDavid was able to knock Griffin in with a double to left center field that Temple left fielder Byron McKoy made a diving attempt, but was unable to come up with the catch.

Griffin helped pad the lead to 2-0 in the top of the fifth with his second double of the morning, this time down the left field line driving in Brady Wilson, who previously reached on a single.

Temple’s first scoring opportunity came in the bottom of the fifth with Taylor Juran leading off with a single through the right side. Berry was then able strike out Cameron Green and Griffin threw out Juran at second on an attempted steal for the double play. Following back-to-back singles from Will Remillard and Jabair Khan, Berry forced McKoy into a foul out to right field to end the threat.

The Mountaineers added one run to the lead in the top of the sixth on an RBI single from Rasky, scoring Gum. Gum reached on walk, stole second and then advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt from the pitcher that bounced into center field.

West Virginia had an offensive explosion in the top of seventh, batting around and scoring four runs on six hits to pad the lead to 7-0. Dan DiBartolomeo started the rally with a triple off the top of the right field fence, scoring on a wild pitch by White during McDavid’s at-bat. McDavid and Grant Buckner hit back-to-back infield singles before Temple brought in Jimmy Devine to pitch to Gum. Gum continued the hit streak with a double down the right field line, scoring McDavid, while Buckner was out at third after sliding past the base. After a Mark Dvoroznak walk, Rasky singled through the left side, scoring Gum. Isac Franklin then singled through the right side to drive in Dvoroznak. Wilson was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, Rasky however was picked off at third by the catcher to end the inning.

Temple scored their lone run in the bottom of the seventh on a home run from Will Remillard over the left field fence.

The Owls were led offensively by Remillard and Khan who each went 2-for-3 at the plate.

West Virginia then scored five more runs in the eighth, led by a three-run home run from Gum. Griffin began the inning by drawing a walk, followed by DiBartolomeo who reached on a fielding error and a McDavid single to load the bases. Buckner then hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring Griffin and advancing DiBartolomeo, while McDavid was forced out at second. Gum hit his second home run of the season to right field, driving in three before a Temple pitching change. Following the change, Dvoroznak walked, Rasky singled through the right side and Franklin reached on a fielding error by the first baseman, scoring Dvoroznak and advancing Rasky to second. Griffin then walked to load the bases before DiBartolomeo ended the inning by grounding out to first.

The Mountaineers will face Elon this afternoon at 1:15 p.m., before playing Wright State at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning in the final game of the Elon Invitational.

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