MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A complete game by junior right-hander Dan Dierdorff and two RBIs from freshman infielder Billy Fleming guided the West Virginia baseball team to 6-5 win over visiting Niagara on Tuesday afternoon at Hawley Field.
The Mountaineers (6-5) completed the seven-inning game with six runs on 12 hits, while Niagara (3-6) scored five runs on nine hits. Neither team committed an error.
Dierdorff pitched seven innings and only allowed one run in the final six innings. Dierdorff also struck out nine and walked two batters.
Fleming went 2-for-2 with two singles and two RBIs, while freshman outfielder Bobby Boyd continued his hot streak with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate, and his fifth stolen base of the season. Junior shortstop John Polonius went 2-for-3 with one run and a stolen base.
Dierdorff got into early trouble with the Purple Eagles, who scored four runs on four hits with the first two batters reaching base, followed by a three-run home run to left field by Eric Hink. Hink was driven in on a double down the left field line by Wynton Bernard.
WVU scored one run in each of the first three innings to bring the score to 4-3. Junior outfielder Brady Wilson walked to lead off the bottom of the first and eventually scored from third on a wild pitch.
In the second inning, redshirt freshman catcher Max Nogay laid down a perfect bunt single to third base that scored junior outfielder Chris Rasky to bring the score to 4-2.
Fleming drove in the third WVU run of the game with a single to left field, scoring redshirt sophomore left fielder Matt Frazer.
Fleming knocked in his second run of the game in the fifth inning when West Virginia took a 5-4 lead over Niagara. Sophomore first baseman Ryan McBroom led off the inning with a double to deep left center that led to a Niagara pitching change. McBroom later scored on a wild pitch, while Polonius scored on Fleming’s single to left field.
Niagara scored in the top of the sixth to knot the game at 5-5, but a balk by Niagara’s Geoff Soja scored Nogay in the bottom of the inning to give WVU the permanent lead.
Niagara starter Kody Kasper went four innings and allowed four runs on eight hits. Kasper also walked three and struck out two.
The teams will complete the doubleheader with a start time of 4:30 p.m. for game two at Hawley Field.