Baseball: WVU Gets Comeback Win

By Steve Stone for MSNsportsNET.com
March 28, 2009

west virginia 12, villanova 8
villanova ballpark
plymouth meeting, pa.
West Virginia 1 2 0 2 0 2 3 0 2 12 11 1
Villanova 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 14 4
Stat Comparison
At-Bats 38 39
RBI 10 8
Walks 10 4
Strikeouts 7 8
Left On Base 16 9
Top WVU Players
Top Batter
Top Pitcher
Jedd Gyorko
2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 2B, 1 HR
Andy Altemus
5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 R, 0 BB, 5 K

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - Jedd Gyorko’s two-run home run over the center field wall in the sixth inning erased an early five-run deficit for the West Virginia University baseball team as it came back to defeat Villanova, 12-8, on Saturday afternoon at Villanova Ballpark in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

Down 6-1 through the first inning, the Mountaineers (17-6, 4-1) chipped away with two runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings, followed by three more insurance runs in the seventh. Vince Belnome’s bases-loaded two-run double that barely stayed fair down the left field line increased WVU’s lead to 9-6. Tobias Streich followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to center field to build a four-run advantage for WVU.

Coming through in relief was junior Andy Altemus (1-0), who earned his first win of the season after pitching 5.2 innings and giving up two earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts. The Morgantown native was instrumental in WVU’s come-from-behind effort, quelling any momentum from Villanova by inducing an inning-ending double play in the fourth that got WVU out of a potential jam with runners on first and third base.

Altemus retired 15 of his 22 batters faced after entering the fourth with one out. Pitching with great precision throughout the afternoon, the Potomac State transfer kept the ball away from his hitters while getting several ground ball outs.

WVU was outhit for the first time since facing Siena on March 14, but managed to produce 11 hits as a club, its 19th double-digit hit effort of the season. The first three batters in Justin Parks, Austin Markel and Gyorko led the way with two hits apiece. Parks added a solo home run and two RBIs, while Gyorko and Belnome totaled three RBIs apiece.

The Mountaineers’ 11 unanswered runs involved the use of five Villanova pitchers. Second reliever Kyle McMyne (1-2) took the loss after giving up three earned runs on two hits with four strikeouts in three innings pitched.

WVU got off to a much better offensive start in their second game against the Wildcats (12-11, 1-4), scoring the game’s first run in the top of the first inning. Faced with a 1-2 count, Markel hit a triple off the center field wall with one out, his 12th career three-bagger. Gyorko followed with an RBI groundout to the shortstop to put the Mountaineers ahead, 1-0.

Villanova came back with six runs in the bottom half. Matt McFolling’s two-run single through the right side gave the Wildcats the early lead, and two batters later Wesley Borden added an RBI single down the left field line to make it 3-1. David Koczirka provided the biggest hit with a three-run home run to left field to give VU a five-run cushion.

In the second inning, the Mountaineers chipped away with two runs to cut their deficit to 6-3. Justin Parks hit a key two-out RBI single to center field to plate Dan DiBartolomeo, who extended his hitting streak to 21 games on a single up the middle. Gyorko followed with a hard-hit ball to shortstop, ruled an error, that scored Justin Ellis.

Parks led off with a solo home run to left center to begin WVU’s two-run fourth inning. Markel proceeded to hit a single up the middle, followed by a double down the left field line from Gyorko to put two runners in scoring position. Belnome contributed with a run-scoring groundout to the shortstop.

Two more runs were tacked on in the ninth frame. Joe Agreste delivered an RBI sacrifice fly to right field, and Grant Buckner scored WVU’s final run on a throwing error by shortstop Cuyler Esposito.

WVU faces Villanova in the rubber game of the series on Sunday, March 29, at Villanova Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 12:15 p.m.