CLEARWATER, Fla. – In an outstanding pitcher’s duel, the West Virginia University baseball team ended its season with a 1-0 loss to Notre Dame on Thursday evening at Bright House Field in its second game of the BIG EAST Championship.
Senior right-hander Andy Berry (8-4) pitched a complete game and scattered just five hits and one unearned run. Berry also pitched a complete game at Notre Dame earlier in the season, allowing just three hits and one run. Notre Dame starter Cole Johnson was just as effective, pitching eight innings of shutout ball, allowing just three hits and striking out seven. Dan Slania came on in the ninth and earned the save, allowing one hit and striking out one.
Berry completes his career in a tie for second all-time at WVU in single season starts (15) and fifth in single season innings pitched (104.1).
The Mountaineers (28-27) recorded four hits in the loss and committed two errors, while Notre Dame (23-28-1) scored one run on six hits with no errors.
The Mountaineers had numerous rallies, but were never able to cash in on Johnson.
Redshirt senior Jeremy Gum led off the second inning with a double to right center, but strikeouts by sophomore Chris Rasky and senior Justin McDavid and a foul out by freshman Isac Franklin ended the threat.
Redshirt senior Grant Buckner opened the fourth inning with a single to center field. Gum then advanced Buckner to second with a successful sacrifice bunt, followed by a walk to Rasky. However, McDavid grounded in a double play, ending the inning with no runs.
McDavid drew a one-out walk in the seventh inning, but was forced out on a ground out double play by Franklin to end the inning.
Buckner finished the afternoon with two hits, while Gum and sophomore Matt Malloy each recorded a hit apiece for the Mountaineers.
Buckner finished his career with a 49 game reaching base streak, tops in the BIG EAST and fourth nationally. Buckner also ends his career sixth all-time with 232 career hits and is tied with former power hitter Stan Posluszny (2003-06) for fourth all-time with 58 doubles and ranks eighth in career RBIs (149).
Gum led West Virginia in 2011 with 23 hit by pitches, setting a new school record, while he also had a season average of .339.
Adam Norton scored Notre Dame’s lone run in the second inning after a single to shortstop. Norton scored on a two-error play where Mick Doyle hit a grounder to McDavid at third base. McDavid pulled Gum off first base, while Gum made an errant throw home trying to throw out Norton that ricocheted off the home plate umpire’s foot.
The 2011 senior class joins only the 1999 group of seniors to play in four BIG EAST Championships, while the group finished its career with a record of 127-96.