Baseball: WVU Snaps Five-Game Skid
By Steve Stone for MSNsportsNET.com
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Freshman left-hander Jonathan Jones enjoyed one of his best outings of the season to guide the West Virginia University baseball team past Morehead State, 8-1, on Tuesday evening in a game that was called through 5 ½ innings due to rain at Hawley Field.
Jones (5-1) made his first start since facing Duquesne on April 14. The Fredericksburg, Va., native got ahead of his hitters throughout the night with a sharp two-seam fastball, and retired 16 of his 25 batters faced. He pitched a six-inning complete game and gave up one run on four hits with three strikeouts.
The Mountaineers (29-12, 11-7) regained their offensive prowess by tallying 10 hits through five innings at the plate, with seven of them being extra base hits. Austin Markel, Vince Belnome, Grant Buckner and Colin Durborow each finished with two hits apiece.
WVU’s victory over Morehead State is its second against the Eagles (15-25, 8-9) this season, and snaps the Mountaineers’ five-game losing streak.
Eagles starter Trey Smith (1-5) took the loss after giving up six runs on six hits in 3.2 innings pitched. The sophomore right-hander held WVU scoreless through the first two innings, then gave up three runs in both the third and fourth frames.
Reliever Tyler Hieneman also made an appearance for Morehead State, but gave up two earned runs on four hits in 1.1 innings.
After going hitless through the first two frames, WVU tallied two home runs in the third. Durborow led off with a double down the left field line, and was driven home by Markel’s two-run home run to right field, his 11th of the season. Two batters later, Belnome followed with an opposite field solo shot to left, his sixth round-tripper of the year.
WVU came back with three more runs in the fourth. Buckner led off with a bunt single to third base, and Joe Agreste hit a first-pitch RBI double down the right field line to make it 4-0. Durborow proceeded to hit his second double of the game to left field to score Agreste, and Markel hit a slicing RBI triple that ricocheted off the glove of left fielder Daniel Pugh to give the Mountaineers a six-run advantage.
A line drive run-scoring single to right field by Tobias Streich gave WVU a 7-0 lead, and Durborow followed with a sacrifice fly to left field in the fifth inning to make it 8-0.
The Mountaineers play the second game of their nine-game homestand on Wednesday, April 29, against Maryland at Hawley Field. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
The contest is dubbed as “Gold Rush” night in which all fans are encouraged to pack the park with gold.