CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Morehead State’s Taylor Davis walked with the bases loaded in the eighth inning to plate Bud Morton with the winning run, leading the Eagles to a 6-5 come-from-behind win over West Virginia In the Mountaineer Diamond Classic at Appalachian Power Park, tonight, in Charleston, W.Va., in front of 667 in attendance.
Down two runs heading into the eighth inning, Morehead State plated two runs to pull off the victory. Luke Bainer reached on a bunt single, advanced to second on a Ryan Connor sacrifice bunt to the pitcher and scored on an Austin Haney single to center field. Morton singled, followed by Daniel Pugh reaching on Grant Buckner’s fielder’s choice, loading the bases. Haney was caught stealing home, before Morton scored on Taylor Davis’ walk.
“Our guys gave a good effort tonight and we wanted to build off the weekend,” says coach Greg Van Zant. “We’re a young team, and there will be nights like this. We’ll get it back.”
The Mountaineers (16-11) finished with five runs on five hits and committed three errors, while Morehead State (5-19) scored six runs on 13 hits and committed one error.
Matt Cartwright (1-1) earned the win for Morehead State, pitching the final two innings, giving up one walk and striking out one batter. WVU relief pitcher Corey Walter (2-2) was credited with the loss, pitching two innings, giving up three runs, two earned on four hits, walking one and striking out one.
Bainer led the Eagles offensive with three hits, including a double and three RBIs, while Deeds. Haney and Morton each finished with two hits. Five different Mountaineer players finished with one hit each and Jeremy Gum led WVU with two RBIs.
The Eagles scored first in the second inning. Two Mountaineer errors put runners on second and third, setting up Bainer’s ground out to third, scoring Andrew Deeds. Thompson got the Mountaineers out of the inning, sandwiching an Austin Haney single with two strikeouts to Ryan Conner and Bud Morton.
WVU tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Ryan McBroom led off with an infield single to third and advanced to second on a TJ Kuban sacrifice bunt. Following a Matt Malloy ground out to short, McBroom scored on Mark Dvoroznak’s single to right field.
MSU responded with a two-run sixth inning, taking a 3-1 lead. Davis opened the inning with a double to center and advanced to third on a Deeds’ single to left. Michael Fear walked before Bainer reached on an infield single to second base, scoring Deeds and Davis.
WVU scored two in the sixth to even the score at 3-3. With two outs and Dan DiBartolomeo on first base, Gum’s long shot to right field negated MSU’s lead. Gum’s homer was his third of the season.
An unearned run in the top of the seventh swung the advantage back in the Eagles’ favor. Morton opened the inning reaching on an error, and a Daniel Pugh sacrifice bunt pushed him to second base. Stuck at second following a Bainer ground out and a Davis walk, Morton scored with a Deeds single to center.
WVU scored two in the seventh to take its first lead of the game, 5-4. Kuban opened the inning with a single to left, and after advancing on a Malloy sacrifice bunt, a Dvoroznak walk gave the Mountaineers two on base and forced an MSU pitching change. Wilson reached on a fielder’s choice, as Kuban was forced out at third base. Justin McDavid reached on a fielding error by Fear, scoring Dvoroznak. Wilson put WVU ahead, scoring on a passed ball by Bainer.
The Mountaineers resume BIG EAST play and travel to Louisville on Friday, April 1, for a three-game series. First pitch from Jim Patterson Stadium is slated for 6 p.m.