Baseball: Mountaineers Get Walk-off Win

By Steve Stone for MSNsportsNET.com
April 1, 2009

ohio 9, west virginia 10
hawley field
morgantown, w.va.
Ohio 3 0 1 1 3 1 0 0 0 9 12 2
West Virginia 0 0 0 1 2 1 2 0 4 10 11 1
Stat Comparison
At-Bats 38 35
RBI 9 9
Walks 5 8
Strikeouts 5 1
Left On Base 9 9
Top WVU Players
Top Batter
Top Pitcher
Jedd Gyorko
2-5, 1 R, 4 RBI, 1 HR
Chase Pickering
4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 R, 3 BB, 3 K

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Trailing by three runs entering the bottom of the ninth inning, the West Virginia University baseball team earned a come-from-behind, walk-off 10-9 victory over Ohio on Wednesday evening at Hawley Field.

With the bases loaded and two outs against Ohio closer Bryce Butt (0-4), designated hitter Justin Ellis hit into a fielder’s choice to shortstop Zach Keen, who committed a throwing error in an attempt to get the force out at second base, which led to WVU’s game-winning run.

The game-changing at-bat occurred in the beginning of the ninth. Down 9-6, Justin Parks led off with a single to center field, and Austin Markel followed with a walk. On a 2-0 fastball, sophomore Jedd Gyorko launched a game-tying three-run home run to left field that ricocheted off the Shell Building.

Cleanup batter Vince Belnome followed with a single to right field after fouling off several pitches with a full count. Tobias Streich then reached first base on a bunt single that was well-placed down the first base line. Dan DiBartolomeo gave up his potential 24-game hitting streak by laying down a sacrifice bunt that advanced both Belnome and Streich into scoring position with just one out.

Joe Agreste, who trimmed WVU’s deficit to 8-3 with a critical two-run home run in the fifth, was intentionally walked, setting up Ellis’ walk-off fielder’s choice.

Parks recorded a team-high three hits, including his fourth home run of the season in the fourth inning to put the Mountaineers (20-6, 5-1) on the board with a 5-1 deficit. The redshirt senior has registered all four home runs in just a nine-game span to give WVU plenty of power at the leadoff spot.

Gyorko went 2-for-5 on the evening, hitting an RBI single through the right side in the seventh to put WVU at a three-run deficit. His three-run home run in the ninth was his third round-tripper of the season, and his second in a four-game span.

Agreste combined his steady play at first base with a 1-for-2 performance at the plate. The Chesapeake, Va., native was walked in his last three at-bats as he continuously worked the count against the Bobcats (11-12, 5-1).

The Mountaineers produced 11 base hits altogether, and used four pitchers to get through a difficult early showing. Freshman left-hander Chase Pickering (1-0), making his third appearance of the season, had his best outing of the season as he recorded his first collegiate victory. Pickering went four innings and gave up just one earned run on two hits with three strikeouts.

Ohio notched three runs in the top of the first inning. Third baseman Marc Krauss started the scoring with a two-run home run to left field, and three batters later Brandon Besl hit a solo home run to give Ohio a 3-0 advantage.

The Bobcats added one more run in the third inning, as Robert Maddox III laced a run-scoring single through the right side. Krauss added another RBI in the fourth on a single up the middle to give Ohio a 5-0 advantage entering the bottom half.

The Mountaineers trailed by as many as seven runs midway through the fifth. After scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth, DiBartolomeo contributed with an RBI sacrifice fly to center field to plate Markel, making it 9-4. Markel came through with an RBI groundout to first base in the seventh to help lead the Mountaineer comeback.

WVU follows with its BIG EAST home opener against Georgetown from April 3-5 at Hawley Field. Game one is set to begin on Friday at 5 p.m.