Mountaineers Shell Terps
By Nathaniel Zinn for MSNsportsNET.com
April 24, 2007
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A record crowd of 1,174 fans watched the WVU baseball team pound Maryland, 13-2 on Tuesday night at Hawley Field. The crowd was the most to ever watch a game at Hawley Field, surpassing the 1,077 in attendance to see WVU take on Notre Dame 10 years ago on April 26, 1997.
The Mountaineers improved to 24-13, avenging two losses to the Terps a year ago, and have now won seven of their last 10 games. Maryland falls to 23-21.
Right-handed pitcher Josh Whitlock (6-3) gave WVU another solid outing to pick up his fifth straight win.
“Josh Whitlock pitched a solid game for us and he was the difference,” coach Greg Van Zant said. “Any time you can get a win over a quality ACC opponent, that’s pretty good.”
Whitlock allowed just five hits and two runs in eight innings as the starter. He also limited base runners with just two walks while striking out seven of the 29 batters he faced.
West Virginia gave plenty of run support to Whitlock even though he didn’t need it. After Maryland's A.J. Casario hit a solo home run to center in the first to go up 1-0, the Mountaineers bounced back with a four-run third inning. Jason Pape led off with a double to right center and moved to third on Adam White’s sacrifice bunt. Senior leftfielder Justin Jenkins doubled in Pape to tie the game at 1-1 and extend his school-record hitting streak to 36 games.
Austin Markel drew a walk to put two on and DH Trent Ridgley lined a three-run home run to center field to give WVU a 4-1 lead.
WVU added two runs in the fourth as Jordon Yost hit his team-best ninth home run of the season to lead off the inning. After catcher Mike Schmidt walked, Pape laid down a sac bunt to move Schmidt to second. Tyler Kuhn singled back up the middle and Schmidt hustled around third to beat center fielder Nick Jowers’ throw to the plate to put WVU ahead 6-1.
The Terps countered with a run in the sixth, but the Mountaineers distanced themselves with five runs on five hits in the bottom of the inning. WVU manufactured three runs before Kuhn drove in the final two runs of the inning with a two-run double to left center.
WVU finished the evening with two final runs in the seventh to leave the scoreboard at 13-2.
Jenkins went 3 for 5 with a double and two RBI. Teammate Kuhn was 3 for 6 with two doubles and four RBI while nine-hitter Jason Pape finished 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI. White also finished with three hits as WVU pounded out 17 hits off of five different Terp pitchers.
Starter Mike Sufczynski (0-2) gets the loss after lasting just 3.2 innings and giving up the first six earned runs.
Joe Palumbo and Casario each finished 1 for 3 with an RBI to lead Maryland.
The Mountaineers next host St. John’s in a three-game BIG EAST series at Hawley Field on April 27-29. The Red Storm knocked WVU out of the 2006 BIG EAST tournament in an elimination game in Tampa, Fla., last year.