Baseball: Husky Outburst Beats WVU

By Steve Stone for MSNsportsNET.com
April 1, 2010

  Grant Buckner

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Five runs in the sixth inning by Connecticut doomed the West Virginia University baseball team as it fell to the Huskies, 9-5, in its BIG EAST home opener on Thursday evening at Hawley Field.

The Mountaineers (13-12, 2-2) clung to a 2-1 lead heading into the sixth inning until UConn’s John Andreoli hit a two-out, two-strike single up the middle to score both Joe Pavone and L.J. Mazzilli to give the Huskies (14-7, 2-2) a 3-2 lead.

UConn seized its momentum as reigning BIG EAST Rookie of the Year George Springer connected in the following at-bat for a two-run home run. Nick Ahmed then stepped to the plate and hit a solo home to extend the Husky advantage to 6-2.

After a double down the left field line from Pavone put UConn ahead at 7-2, WVU staged a comeback with one run in the seventh and two runs in the eighth. With two outs, Justin McDavid lined a double over Springer’s head in centerfield, plating Jedd Gyorko to cut the deficit to four runs. The following frame, Mark Dvoroznak sliced an RBI double down the left field line and pinch hitter Chris Rasky hit a run-scoring single to centerfield to trim UConn’s lead to 7-5.

However, the Huskies responded with two critical runs in the ninth. Mazzilli posted an RBI double and Andreoli followed with a run-scoring single to put the game out of reach.

Grant Buckner and Colin Durborow led the Mountaineers with two hits apiece, while Gyorko led the team with two runs scored and finished 1-for-3 with an RBI and two walks. WVU finished with 10 base hits, the ninth time it has amassed double-digit hits this season.

The Mountaineers were pitted against one of the conference’s best left-handers in Elliot Glynn (3-2), who entered the game with a 1.39 ERA in five games started. Glynn earned the victory after giving up three earned runs on eight hits with three strikeouts in seven innings pitched. Designated hitter and reliever Kevin Vance earned his fourth save of the season.

WVU reliever Andy Berry (1-2) took a hard-luck loss after keeping the Mountaineers in the game through most of his appearance. The Virginia Beach native did not allow a hit to his first eight batters, and did not surrender a run through his first five innings pitched before UConn’s five-run outburst in the sixth.

WVU escaped an early jam by allowing just one run in the top of the first. The first four Huskies reached base, including Mike Nemeth’s run-scoring single to left center, to take an early 1-0 lead. Berry entered with no outs and the bases loaded and struck out Vance, then induced two fielder’s choices to end the inning.

Gyorko responded with an RBI single through the left side in the third inning to knot the game at 1-1. Durborow began the inning with a pop-fly single, and advanced to second base on Dvoroznak’s sacrifice bunt before scoring. Dvoroznak entered the contest seventh in the nation in sacrifice bunts.

Gyorko’s RBI also placed him in a seventh-place tie on the school’s all-time list with former Mountaineer Kurtis Clinton. The Morgantown native now has 143 career RBIs.

Buckner put the Mountaineers ahead with a chopping single through the left side to score Gyorko in the fifth, making it 2-1. Junior Dom Hayes singled off Glynn’s leg in the frame to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, tying Matt Frazer for the team high.

WVU returns for game two of the series on Friday afternoon at Hawley Field. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.