LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The West Virginia University baseball team defeated No. 23 Louisville, 9-2, on Friday evening at Jim Patterson Stadium in Louisville, Ky.
This was the first win at Louisville for the Mountaineers in program history.
The Mountaineers (17-11, 3-1 BIG EAST) scored nine runs, while pounding out 14 hits with two errors, while Louisville (16-9, 2-2 BIG EAST) scored two runs on eight hits with three errors.
Freshman righty Ryan Tezak (1-0) earned his first career win in a solid five innings of relief, allowing only one hit and striking out seven. Junior left-hander Jonathan Jones started the game and went four innings, allowing seven hits and two runs.
“We’re fortunate to get the first game tonight,” coach Greg Van Zant said. “Our guys hung in there and Jon Jones was struggling, but he was able to get out of some jams and Ryan Tezak came in and pitched great.”
Five WVU batters had two hits apiece, with senior Justin McDavid, redshirt senior Grant Buckner and sophomore Chris Rasky each recording two RBIs. Sophomore Brady Wilson and redshirt senior Mark Dvoroznak each scored two runs.
“Our hitters have been pretty consistent hitting the ball hard all year,” Van Zant said. “The other night they got in a funk and Morehead State’s left-hander did a great job, but our hitters have hit balls hard all year and Louisville’s pitching is outstanding, they’re a heckuva ball club.”
Designated hitter Jeremy Gum laced a first pitch double, his 11th of the season, to the right center wall to open up the second inning. Freshman first baseman Ryan McBroom put down a successful sacrifice bunt, followed by a Rasky single down the third base line to score Gum and open the scoring at 1-0 in favor of the Mountaineers.
The Cardinals got on the board with a deep two-run home run to left field by Ryan Seiz to take a 2-1 lead. Ryan Wright led off the inning a single to left, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by sophomore catcher Matt Malloy on the steal. It was Seiz’s second home run of the season.
Buckner led off the top of the fifth with a single through the left side. Gum then advanced Buckner with a sacrifice bunt, followed by a walk to McBroom, while Rasky was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one outs. WVU, however, was unable to score in the inning.
The Mountaineers regained the lead in the top of the fifth with two runs on three hits to make the score 3-2. After McDavid walked and advanced on a passed ball, redshirt junior second baseman Dan DiBartolomeo was able to reach on a one-hop throwing error by the Louisville third baseman. Buckner drove in the tying run with a single threw the left side, scoring McDavid from second, followed by Gum getting hit by a pitch to load the bases. After McBroom hit into a fielder’s choice and McDavid was forced out at home, Rasky was hit by a pitch to score Buckner to end the Mountaineer scoring.
Tezak was able to get out of a tough jam in the bottom of the fifth, coming into the game with two men on base and recording three consecutive outs to get out of the inning with no harm.
West Virginia extended the lead to 5-2 in the top of the sixth. Dvoroznak reached on a throwing error by the third baseman to start the inning. Wilson then was attempting to sacrifice Dvoroznak over, but beat the throw for an infield single. After McDavid laid down a successful sacrifice bunt to the pitcher, DiBartolomeo singled to left field to score Dvoroznak. Buckner then hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Wilson.
WVU added three insurance runs in the top of the seven to bring the score to 8-2. A double to right center by McBroom led off, while a double from Malloy that hit off the top of the left field fence plated McBroom. Dvoroznak and Wilson then hit back-to-back singles with Wilson’s driving home Malloy. McDavid drove in the final run of the inning, grounding out to knock in Dvoroznak.
Matt Koch (3-3) took the loss for Louisville, allowing one earned run and seven hits in 5.1 innings pitched. Ty Young, Wright and J.J. Ethel each had two hits for the Cardinals. Seiz finished 1-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs.
The two teams will be back in action for game two at Jim Patterson Stadium tomorrow at 1 p.m.