By Brady Smith for MSNsportsNET.com
February 23, 2003
WILMINGTON, N.C. - The West Virginia University baseball team (2-3) split two games on Sunday afternoon to close out a 2-2 weekend at Brooks Field.
West Virginia's offense exploded for five runs in the fourth inning and had 12 hits to down Fordham, 9-5, in the first game.
Fordham tallied three runs in the third inning off WVU starter Brandon Halstead, aided by a walk and two Mountaineer errors, to take a 4-2 lead.
West Virginia countered in the fourth inning with five runs as junior Kurtis Clinton roped an RBI double that scored Tim McCabe, who led off with a double of his own. Two batters later, sophomore Lee Fritz laced a double that scored Clinton.
After Fritz stole third and scored on an errant throw by Fordham's catcher, Casey Bowling laid down a bunt single and advanced to second on another errant throw. Bowling crossed the plate on an RBI single by Jarod Rine, who would later steal second and score on a base-hit by Eric Grimm to take a 7-4 lead that WVU would hold on to.
Clinton paced West Virginia going 3-4 with an RBI and three runs scored while Rine and Bowling added two hits and an RBI apiece.
Halstead (1-0) tossed six innings and allowed five runs, four earned, on seven hits while striking out four and walking just one batter.
Mountaineer reliever Todd Dunham pitched three scoreless innings to pick up his first save of the season.
Fordham starter Dave Rodriguez (0-1) lasted 3.2 innings, allowing six runs, five earned, on seven hits with one strikeout and zero walks. Kurt Thomas hit a solo homer for the Rams.
In the nightcap, UNC-Wilmington scored early and often to down the Mountaineers, 16-4.
After Derek Cisar and Fritz reached on singles, Bowling crushed a two-run double over the head of the leftfielder to give WVU an early 2-1 lead in the second inning.
The Seahawks returned the favor in the bottom half of the second when Russ Simmerman lined a two-run single up the middle to jump ahead by one run.
Rine tied the ballgame at 3-3 with an opposite field solo-homer to leftfield in the third, but UNC-Wilmington countered once again in the bottom half with a home run by Jon Davis to take a 4-3 lead.
The Seahawks extended their lead in a big way with a six-run fourth inning, highlighted by a two-run homer by Simmerman and a two-run double by Jason Schindler.
UNC-Wilmington scored at least one run in all eight innings they were at bat.
Mountaineer starter Tino Medina (0-1) lasted three innings, allowing five runs on five hits while striking out one and walking two.
Fritz was 4-4 with an RBI for the Mountaineers, while Cisar and Rine added two hits apiece.
UNC-Wilmington hurler Jake Mullis (1-1) struck out eight and walked two, allowing two earned runs on nine hits in six innings pitched.
The Mountaineers will return to action in Knoxville, Tenn., for a two-game series with Tennessee on Saturday, March 1, at 1 p.m., and Sunday, March 2, at 2 p.m.