Baseball: Mountaineers Blank Iona

By Allison Hoehn for MSNsportsNET.com
March 14, 2008


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Sophomore Billy Gross pitched a complete-game shutout, striking out a career-high 12 batters and giving up only three hits to lead West Virginia to a 6-0 victory over Iona, today, at Hawley Field.

His complete-game performance marked a career-high for innings pitched. He retired 17 of the last 18 batters he faced since the first out was recorded in the fourth inning. He sat down the first four batters of the game before an error by the Mountaineers allowed the first base runner to reach.

Gross (2-0) then hit two batters before striking out the last two hitters of the second inning. The first batter reached on a single in the third inning before being erased on a stolen base attempt. He retired the next three before a second WVU error allowed the fifth base runner. Then he only allowed one hit the remainder of the game.

Freshman Jedd Gyorko had five hits, scored two runs and recorded an RBI. The Morgantown native now has 33 hits on the season and is currently on a 14-game hitting streak.

Senior Jordon Yost hit his 12th home run of his career in the eighth inning to deep left field, while senior Tyler Kuhn finished with three hits and two runs on the day. Sophomore Vince Belnome and freshman Tobias Streich both recorded two RBIs each.

The Mountaineers (10-4) finished the game with six runs on 13 hits and had two errors, while Iona (0-9) finished with three hits and committed one error.

WVU took an early lead in the first inning when Kuhn doubled down the left field line before advancing to third on Gyorko’s single up the middle. Belnome singled to right field and then advanced to second on an error by the Gaels’ shortstop, allowing Kuhn to score from third.

The Mountaineers added a pair of runs in the fifth inning when Streich hit a two- RBI single to right field, driving in Kuhn and Gyorko. Kuhn walked, advanced to second on Gyorko’s single to right field, before Belnome walked to load the bases before Streich’s single.

WVU then added three more in the eighth to create the 6-0 advantage. Yost homered before junior Justin Parks walked and advanced to second off of a sacrifice bunt by Kuhn. Gyorko then tripled to right field, driving in Parks. Belnome grounded out to first base, plating Gyorko.

Iona’s Shane Sveda dropped his second decision of the season, pitching 5.2 innings, giving up three runs on 10 hits, striking out five and walking three.

The Mountaineers continue their four-game series on Saturday, March 15 with a doubleheader at Hawley Field. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.