By Steve Stone for MSNsportsNET.com
April 14, 2009
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Fifth-year senior Justin Parks had a career-high seven RBI to lead the West Virginia University baseball team to a 21-12 victory over Duquesne in a seven-inning contest Tuesday evening in Pittsburgh.
The Columbus resident went 4-for-6 with three runs scored. In the second inning, Parks hit a grand slam to give the Mountaineers (27-7, 10-2) a 6-1 cushion after trailing 1-0 through the first inning. Parks recorded his second multi-home run game of the season when he hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning.
The 2009 Preseason Brooks Wallace Watch List member now has eight home runs on the season. Coming into his final year, he tallied seven career round-trippers. His previous season-high in RBI was five against Georgetown in game two of a doubleheader on April 4.
WVU tallied five home runs altogether, breaking its previous season-high of four in victories over Villanova on March 29 and Georgetown on April 4. Austin Markel hit his fifth home run, a two-run shot, in as many days, giving him a team-leading 10 round-trippers on the season.
Vince Belnome raised his conference-leading RBI total to 53 after hitting a three-run blast in the fifth. Tobias Streich went 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBI as he rounded out the Mountaineers who circled the bases with his sixth home run of the season on a two-run shot in the third.
Grant Buckner finished with three hits, extending his hitting streak to 16 games. Joe Agreste, Mark Dvoroznak and Colin Durborow each added an RBI apiece.
The Mountaineers tallied 19 hits overall, their second-highest hit total of the season. WVU scored in bunches against the Dukes (8-26), notching six runs in the second inning and five runs in the third and fifth frames.
Reliever Justin Ellis (4-1) earned the victory for WVU. The Pickerington, Ohio, native got his second win over Duquesne this season, despite giving up seven runs on seven hits in 2.2 innings.
Left-hander Andrew Saab saw his first action in 2009, inducing a key ground ball out with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. Freshman Andy Podolinski made his sixth appearance of the season, striking out Duquesne’s Dino Sifuentes in what turned out to be the game’s final out. The contest, originally scheduled to be a nine-inning affair, was called in the top of the eighth due to inclement weather.
The Mountaineers head back into BIG EAST play with a three-game road series on April 17-19 at Notre Dame. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. on Friday, followed by a 3:05 p.m. start on Saturday. Sunday’s contest begins at 1:05 p.m. All three games will air locally on WAJR as well s on the Internet through MSNsportsNET.com.