MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The WVU baseball team dropped a 7-4 decision to non-conference foe East Tennessee State on Thursday evening at Hawley Field.
The Bucs took an early lead off of Mountaineer starter Ryan Lipscomb as they tallied three runs in the first inning off an RBI single by Blake Church and a two-run double by Andy Howdeshell.
Tim Turner gave ETSU a 4-0 lead in the top of the third after he singled, stole second and third base, then scored on a base-hit by Caleb Moore, who currently leads the nation in hitting.
West Virginia would attempt a comeback in the fifth inning as they scored one run on a bases loaded single by Doug Nelms. WVU would only score one run as ETSU hurler Jeremy Hall got Jake Serfass to ground into a double play to end the inning.
WVU pulled within one run of the Bucs after Grant Psomas led off the bottom of the sixth with a double and scored on a Lee Fritz double. Fritz would later score on a two-out Travis D’Amico double to left field to make the score 4-3 in favor of East Tennessee State.
With the Mountaineers poised to even the score, ETSU reliever Josh Kite worked out of a jam in the bottom of the eighth, as he came in with runners on first and third with no outs. Stan Posluszny popped out to Kite, Moore gunned out Fritz attempting to steal second and Kite then got Clinton to fly out to left to end the inning.
The Bucs then scored three crucial insurance runs off a two-run triple by Tim Turner, who would later score on a wild pitch by reliever Levi Maxwell.
WVU scored one run off a Justin Richards RBI double in the ninth, but it was not enough as the Mountaineers fell to 18-28 on the season.
ETSU’s Hall (9-6) earned the victory, allowing three runs on nine hits through six innings pitched while striking out three and walking none.
Lipscomb (1-2) was tagged with the loss as he allowed four runs on eight hits through 6.1 innings pitched while striking out five and walking three.
Psomas, Clinton, D’Amico and David Carpenter each had two hits for WVU.
The two teams meet for game two of the series on Friday, May 14, at 7 p.m., at Hawley Field.