Baseball: WVU Gets Late-Inning Win

By Steve Stone for MSNsportsNET.com
March 20, 2009

west virginia 7, uconn 6
j.o. christian field
storrs, conn.
West Virginia 2 0 2 0 1 1 0 0 1 7 9 3
UConn 0 1 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 6 8 1
Stat Comparison
At-Bats 33 37
RBI 7 4
Walks 3 3
Strikeouts 6 11
Left On Base 7 8
Top WVU Players
Top Batter
Top Pitcher
Vince Belnome
2-3, 1 R, 3 RBI
Chris Enourato
2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Senior Austin Markel’s clutch RBI single in the ninth inning elevated the West Virginia University baseball team to a 7-6 victory over Connecticut in game one of a three-game series on Friday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field.

Tied 6-6 entering the final frame, pinch hitter Justin Ellis started out with a walk, then was substituted by pinch runner Colin Durburow. After Justin Parks’ groundout moved Durborow to second base, Markel came through with the go-ahead hit through the right side to give the Mountaineers (13-5, 1-0) a critical conference-opening win.

Providing instant relief was Chris Enourato (5-0), who logged 2.1 innings and gave up just one hit while striking out five. Starter Jarryd Summers earned a quality start after giving up just three earned runs in 6.2 innings pitched while striking out six, but took a no decision.

Vince Belnome went 2-for-3 with three RBIs to lead the WVU offense. Parks also tallied two hits, including a critical solo home run in the sixth inning, while Jedd Gyorko and Dan DiBartolomeo added two hits apiece.

Dusty Odenbach (0-1) took the loss for the Huskies (7-8, 0-1), giving up the game-winning run on Markel’s base hit in the final frame. Starter John Folino gave up five earned runs in eight innings pitched but struck out six.

WVU started its conference opener with two runs in the first inning. Parks began the game with a single through the left side, and Markel walked to put two runners on base with no outs. Belnome, batting fourth, came through with a two-run double to left center to give the Mountaineers an early 2-0 advantage.

After UConn tacked on a run in the second inning, WVU added two runs in the third. Belnome smacked another run-scoring double to left field to plate Gyorko. Two batters later, Tobias Streich knocked in Belnome on an RBI groundout, making it 4-1.

The Huskies matched the Mountaineers with two runs in the bottom half. Matt Burnett hit into a double play that scored Nick Ahmed, and Mike Olt followed with an RBI single to left field. An RBI groundout by Joe Pavone in the fourth inning knotted the game at 4-4.

DiBartolomeo’s RBI single to right field plated Gyorko to give WVU a 5-4 lead in the fifth inning. Gyorko started out the frame with a double to right field, then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Joe Agreste. Belnome, who was hit by a pitch, was thrown out at home on DiBartolomeo’s hit.

Parks’ first home run of the season in the sixth gave WVU an insurance run at 6-4, but UConn came back with two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Enourato closed out the game in the ninth, striking out his first two batters and forcing a groundout by Peter Fatse to deliver the win for WVU.

The Mountaineers return for game two of the three-game series against the Huskies on Saturday, March 21, at J.O. Christian Field. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.