MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – A three-run home run from Brady Wilson and a strong effort by starter Corey Walter led the West Virginia University baseball team to a 4-1 victory over Nebraska on Friday afternoon at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn.
The West Virginia bats came alive for eight hits, the most since opening day against Northwestern, while the Mountaineers pitchers held Nebraska (4-4) to six hits. Neither team recorded an error.
“To come here and get a win against a real good Nebraska team who had won four in a row without our No. 3 hitter (Matt Frazer) says a lot about the character of our team,” coach Greg Van Zant says.
Wilson led all players at the plate with a 3-for-4 performance that was highlighted by a double, a home run, four RBIs and one run.
“I wasn’t really looking for anything, kept my hands back and he threw me a changeup,” Wilson says. “I put my hands out and sometimes that happens when you swing at the ball hard.”
Walter earned his first win of the season in a season-high seven innings pitched. Walter allowed one run on six hits with five strikeouts. Dan Dierdorff recorded his first career save in two innings, allowing no hits and striking out two.
“It’s always good to get the first win of the season,” Walter says. “Going down 1-0 right away with the walked batter, it was nice to keep them down to one and fight through it. It’s always nice to pitch ahead.”
Wilson’s home run highlighted a sixth inning that saw the Mountaineers break out of a hitting drought with five hits, including four consecutive. Billy Fleming started the rally with a led off single to right center, followed by a sacrifice bunt from Bobby Boyd advancing Fleming to second. Max Nogay then attempted to move Fleming to third by way of sacrifice, but was able to reach on a bunt single. Wilson followed with his first home run of the season to put WVU up 3-1. A ground out by Gabe Brown to force a double play ended the threat.
Wilson knocked in his fourth run of the game to extend WVU’s lead to 4-1 in the eighth inning on a double to left center that scored Boyd from third. Boyd had previously reached on a single up the middle and was advanced to third on a Nogay sacrifice fly and a wild pitch, respectively.
The Nebraska offense struck early after a leadoff walk to Kale Kiser to began the game. Richard Stock came to the plate three batters later and put the Cornhuskers up 1-0 on a double laced to left field.
Nebraska starter Zach Hirsch allowed three runs on seven hits in seven innings. Hirsch struck out six and walked none. Tyler Niederklein pitched one inning of relief, allowing one hit and striking out one.
Six different Cornerhusker hitters recorded one hit, with Stock recording the team’s lone RBI.
WVU returns to the Metrodome on Saturday evening for a game against tournament host Minnesota at 6:30 p.m. The game will feature a video and audio stream via MSNsportsNET.com.