MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A two-run single from Justin Kopale fueled Wright State to a 6-5 walk-off victory over the West Virginia University baseball team on Friday morning in the first game of the Elon Invitational.
Kopale drove in Sam Picchiotti, who got on with a single through the left side, and Corey Davis, who had been hit by a pitch, to seal the victory in the bottom of the ninth.
Michael Schum (1-1) earned the win, pitching 1.2 innings of relief, giving up only one hit and striking out three. Max Friedman started the game and pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits and striking out five batters.
After a rough first inning, starting pitcher Jonathan Jones (1-1) was the bright spot for the Mountaineers, finishing his afternoon with eight innings pitched, giving up eight hits, four runs and striking out eight. Josh McCauley (0-2) took the loss for West Virginia.
Wright State (3-5) scored six runs on nine hits with one error, while West Virginia (2-5) scored five runs on nine hits with no errors.
Dan DiBartolomeo and Matt Frazer led the Mountaineers offensively with two hits each. DiBartolomeo scored the Mountaineers first run on a home run in the third inning and also had two runs scored. Frazer had a double and an RBI single, as well as a run scored. Grant Buckner had two RBIs, while Isac Franklin finished with one RBI.
Jake Hibberd finished the day 3-for-4 for Wright State, with one RBI and one run scored. Zach Tanner went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Wright State was able to get off to a fast start with two bunts, a single from Dan Marsh and sacrifice bunt to the pitcher by Tanner advancing Marsh. Hibberd followed with a single to left, scoring Marsh to put the Raiders up 1-0. After Kody Krizman was hit by a pitch, Ryan Ashe put down a bunt single to first to score Hibberd. Jones then walked Tristan Moore to load the bases, followed by Kyle Mossbarger who singled to second base scoring Krizman. DiBartolomeo was able to make a heads up play at second throwing Ashe out at home on the play to end the inning with Wright State in front 3-0.
DiBartolomeo put the Mountaineers on the board with a long home run to right center to bring the score to 3-1. It was DiBartolomeo’s first of the season.
The Mountaineers chipped away at the lead, scoring one in the bottom of the seventh, making the score 3-2. Frazer led off the inning with a double down the right field line, before Franklin singled up the middle to score Frazer. Matt Malloy grounded into a double play to end inning.
West Virginia was able to take the lead in the top of eighth on a two-run single through the left side from Buckner scoring DiBartolomeo and Brady Wilson. Wilson started the rally with a single to center field, followed by a DiBartolomeo single through the left side. Justin McDavid executed a successful sacrifice bunt to advance the runner before Buckner’s single.
The inning continued with Frazer singling through the right side scoring Buckner and advancing Ryan McBroom to third, who walked after pinch-hitting for Jeremy Gum. West Virginia finished the inning with three runs on four hits, taking a 5-3 lead.
Tanner began the bottom half of the inning with a single through the left side, followed by a single from Hibberd through the right side. A fielder’s choice from Krizman scored Tanner to cut the WVU lead to 5-4, however Jones was able to get out of the jam by striking out Ashe.
The Mountaineers continue the Elon Invitational tomorrow with a doubleheader featuring a game against Temple at 9:30 a.m., followed by a game with tournament host Elon at 1:30 p.m.