by Elizabeth Brandt for MSNsportsNET.com
May 9, 2007
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia baseball team completed a home-and-home series sweep of Ohio as the Mountaineers defeated the Bobcats 6-4 this evening at Hawley Field.
Left fielder Justin Jenkins got things started early in the first for WVU (26-19, 7-13). The Ridgeley, W.Va., native took a big hack on the first pitch, resulting in a three-run home run. Jenkins’ homer sailed straight out over the 390 mark and plated Adam White and Tyler Kuhn who reached on a single and a walk, respectively. Second baseman Jason Pape would add the fourth run of the inning when he crossed home as Chris Enourato reached on a throwing error by Ohio starting pitcher Daniel Weiss.
With two outs in the second inning, Ohio (20-28) answered with back-to-back singles. Second baseman Bryant Witt knocked out an RBI single to score Zach Hartle. Left fielder Jeremie Rehak would strand Witt at first and end the Bobcats’ rally in the next at bat as he grounded out to Mountaineer starter Billy Gross.
The Mountaineers added two runs in the fourth inning to further distance themselves from Ohio. White smacked an RBI single down the left side to send catcher Justin Parks home. With shortstop Kuhn at bat, White used his incredible speed to record West Virginia’s third stolen base of the night. Kuhn then singled to drive in White and put WVU up 6-1 over the Bobcats.
After adding a run in the sixth, Ohio closed the gap to 6-4 with two more in the seventh inning. First baseman Marc Krauss singled down the left side to score Rehak who led off the inning with a single of his own. The Bobcats continued with a second single from Besl to plate Stiffler who got on base after being hit by a pitch from reliever Brendan Bergerson.
Designated hitter Trent Ridgley went to work on the mound in the eighth inning for the Mountaineers and picked up a save as he helped to secure the win.
Gross went six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and striking out four to pick up his fourth win of the season. Bergerson struck out one and surrendered two hits in one inning of relief while Ridgley struck out three of the six batters he faced.
Ohio’s Weiss gave up six runs on seven hits and took the loss, falling to 3-6 on the season.
White was 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI while Jenkins was 2-for-3 with three RBI.
West Virginia stole three bases in this evening’s contest which is the most it has registered since stealing six against Ohio on April 18.
The Mountaineers will next travel to Storrs, Conn., to take on the Huskies in a three-game BIG EAST road series May 11-13. The all-time series between West Virginia and Connecticut is tied 16-16 since it began in 1996.