WVU Finishes Off Georgetown

By Steve Stone for MSNsportsNET.com
April 5, 2009

west virginia 8, Georgetown 3
hawley field
morgantown, w.va.
Georgetown 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 6 2
West Virginia 0 4 2 0 1 1 0 0 X 8 9 0
Stat Comparison
At-Bats 33 28
RBI 3 8
Walks 2 3
Strikeouts 15 5
Left On Base 5 5
Top WVU Players
Top Batter
Top Pitcher
Grant Buckner
2-3, 2 R, 5 RBI, 1 2 HR, 1 HBP
Billy Gross
7.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 R, 2 BB, 12 K

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The combination of two home runs from redshirt sophomore Grant Buckner and a solid outing from starter Billy Gross guided the West Virginia University baseball team to a three-game sweep over Georgetown, winning 8-3 on Sunday afternoon at Hawley Field.

The victory gives the Mountaineers (23-6, 8-1) a season-high seven game winning streak, and marks an undefeated 5-0 week for WVU. The Mountaineers outscored the Hoyas (10-19, 3-6), 28-14, during their three-game series over the weekend, and continue their reign in first place in the BIG EAST.

Buckner, an Elkview, W.Va., native, stood out today with a 2-for-3 performance and a career-high five RBIs. In the second inning, he hit a hanging break ball on a 2-2 count over the wall in left center for a grand slam, giving the Mountaineers an early 4-0 advantage.

The former Herbert Hoover High standout came back in the sixth inning with a leadoff solo shot to left field. Buckner’s two round-trippers on the day were the first home runs of his collegiate career. Buckner, typically batting at the No. 7 or No. 8 hole, has hit safely in 11 straight contests.

On the mound, right-hander Gross (4-2) had a career day for WVU. The Frederick, Md., native was consistent all afternoon, mixing in his curveball, slider and fastball to get hitters out. Gross hurled 7.2 innings and gave up no runs on three hits while tying a career-high with 12 strikeouts.

Gross has averaged nearly eight innings (7.24) pitched in five starts in 2009. He has won his last four outings and shows a 3-0 mark against BIG EAST rivals Connecticut, Villanova and Georgetown.

Catcher Tobias Streich had another strong performance at the plate, going 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two sacrifice bunts. The Johnsonburg, Pa., resident provided one of the key hits on the afternoon, lacing a two-run double down the third base line in the third inning to put WVU ahead at 6-0.

Vince Belnome also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk. The Coatesville, Pa., native is second on the team with 16 multi-hit games and leads the Mountaineers with 14 multiple RBI games.

The Mountaineers tallied nine hits on the afternoon, and have amassed 24 double-digit hit games on the season.

WVU returns with a conference showdown against 2008 BIG EAST regular season champion St. John’s at Hawley Field. The Red Storm is tied with USF for second place in the conference, carrying a 7-2 BIG EAST mark.

The three-game series begins on Thursday, April 9, at 7:05 p.m. The series opener has been deemed “Dollar Night,” with all tickets, hot dogs, popcorns and Coca-Colas available for purchase for one dollar each.

The three-game series continues on Friday, April 10, with the first pitch set for 5 p.m. The final game begins on Saturday, April 11, at 1 p.m.