Baseball: WVU Rolls Past Rutgers
By Steve Stone for MSNsportsNET.com
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - A five-run flurry in the eighth inning sealed a 13-1 victory for the West Virginia University baseball team over Rutgers on Friday evening at Hawley Field.
Starting right-hander Jarryd Summers (7-2) had another impressive performance in the win. The Sharpsville, Pa., resident recorded his fourth double-digit strikeout total this season, fanning 10 batters on five hits in 7.2 innings pitched. Summers is among the BIG EAST leaders with 79 strikeouts this season, sitting just 10 strikeouts shy of 10th place on the school’s single-season list.
Summers surrendered a leadoff home run to Michael Lang in the first inning, then settled down the rest of the way. The sophomore threw a sharp, biting curve ball that repeatedly froze the opposition, helping to lower his conference-best opponent average to .230.
The Mountaineers (30-13, 12-7) halted their five-game slide in the BIG EAST by picking up a key home win. With nine games remaining before the conference tournament, WVU needs to reach the 37-win mark to give it the most regular season wins in school history.
Right fielder Grant Buckner led WVU’s 15-hit attack with a 4-for-5 performance at the plate. The Elkview, W.Va., native laced an RBI triple to center field in the fifth and also had a run-scoring double to right center in the eighth.
Jedd Gyorko followed with three hits on the evening, including his sixth home run of the season on a solo shot in the fifth. The sophomore totaled three RBIs in the No. 3 spot.
Justin Parks, Austin Markel and Tobias Streich each added two hits apiece. Dan DiBartolomeo hit his fifth round-tripper of the year in the second to tie the game, and added three RBIs on the evening.
Rutgers starter Willie Beard (2-4) took the loss after giving up seven runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings pitched. Relievers Billy Murphy and Sean Peterson combined to give up six runs on seven hits in 3.1 frames.
The first batter of the game,Lang, led off with a solo home run to left field to give the Scarlet Knights (17-27, 4-15) an early 1-0 lead. DiBartolomeo responded with a first-pitch home run to left field to start the second inning. The round-tripper snapped an 18-game homerless streak for the Margate, N.J., native.
Markel laced an RBI single through the right side in the third inning to put WVU ahead 2-1. Jedd Gyorko followed another run-scoring single through the left side.
Joe Agreste, who tallied two RBIs, brought in a run in the fourth on an RBI groundout to first base. Gyorko followed with a solo home run in the fifth on a 1-1 pitch, and DiBartolomeo’s RBI groundout to second base in the sixth extended WVU’s lead to 8-1.
The Mountaineers maintained their solo status as the fourth-place team in the BIG EAST, with conference leader USF and St. John’s all winning their games on the evening, while Louisville leads Villanova 7-4 in a suspended affair that will continue on Saturday.
WVU returns for game two against Rutgers on Saturday, May 2, at Hawley Field. First pitch is set for 3 p.m