Baseball: WVU Knocks Off Kentucky

By Steve Stone for MSNsportsNET.com
March 24, 2009

kentucky 7, west virginia 10
mountaineer diamond classic
appalachian power park
charleston, w.va.
Kentucky 2 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 7 9 0
West Virginia 3 0 2 5 0 0 0 0 X 10 15 0
Stat Comparison
At-Bats 31 34
RBI 6 10
Walks 3 4
Strikeouts 8 6
Left On Base 3 7
Top WVU Players
Top Batter
Top Pitcher
Jedd Gyorko
4-4, 3 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Justin Ellis
5.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - A timely grand slam by Tobias Streich guided the West Virginia University baseball team to a 10-7 victory over Kentucky Tuesday evening in front of 2,452 at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, W.Va.

With one out in the fourth inning, Streich blasted an offering from reliever Mike Kaczmarek (0-1) over the left field wall to put the Mountaineers ahead 10-7. The game-winning hit gave the Johnsonburg, Pa., native five RBI for the contest, tying his career high.

The Mountaineers (16-5) were saved by the relief pitching of Justin Ellis (2-1), who earned the victory after giving up just two earned runs in 5.2 innings pitched while striking out five Wildcat hitters.

Closer Chris Enourato earned his third save of the season, going 2.1 strong innings without allowing a hit and striking out three. The BIG EAST’s ERA leader notched his 14th career save, tying him with Mike Marz on the school’s career saves list.

Justin Parks and Jedd Gyorko powered a WVU offense that tallied 15 total hits. Parks went 4 for 5 while Gyorko also totaled four hits, including two doubles and an RBI. Vince Belnome added a pair of hits and three RBI, giving him 38 on the season to lead the BIG EAST.

Starter Steve Morrison got off to a rough start for WVU, allowing two runs in the first inning. Chris Bisson started things off for the Wildcats (15-6) by scoring on a passed ball to make it 1-0. Braden Kapteyn followed with an RBI groundout to third base, plating Chris Wade to extend Kentucky’s lead to 2-0.

WVU wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first. With two runners on, Gyorko hit a line-drive double down the left field line to plate Parks. Cleanup batter Belnome then drilled a single to left center to bring in two more runs, giving the Mountaineers a 3-2 lead.

UK responded with three runs in the top of the second. Bisson hit a sacrifice fly to left field to bring in one run, and Wade followed with a two-run single through the left side to put Kentucky back on top at 5-3.

A smart play by Gyorko on the base path propelled WVU to a two-run third inning. With no outs, Streich popped up to second baseman Bisson in foul territory, and Gyorko alertly tagged up and scored on the play to give Streich a sacrifice RBI. Joe Agreste followed with an RBI single through the left side on a 1-2 pitch to tie the game at five.

Trailing 7-5 in the bottom of the fourth, WVU did more damage at the plate. Belnome walked with the bases loaded to cut the Mountaineers' deficit to one run, and Streich cleared the bases with a line shot to left to give WVU a 10-7 advantage.

The victory gives WVU two soild victories over Southeastern Conference opponents this season. The Mountaineers also defeated Tennessee, 11-6, Feb. 27 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

WVU takes its undefeated conference record to Plymouth Meeting, Pa., to battle Villanova March 27-29. First pitch for Friday’s contest is scheduled for 3:15 p.m., followed by a 12:15 p.m. start for both games on Saturday and Sunday.