Baseball: WVU Falls in BIG EAST Opener

  • By Grant Dovey
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  • March 24, 2012 04:07 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University baseball team held an early one-run lead but gave up two four-run innings to fall to Connecticut 10-7 after a weather delay that started on Friday evening and ended Saturday afternoon at Hawley Field.

The loss dropped West Virginia to 11-13 overall and 0-1 in BIG EAST play, while Connecticut improved to 8-11 and is 1-0 in the conference.

WVU jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning in which the first three batters reached base. First baseman Ryan McBroom came to the plate and drove in right fielder Brady Wilson from third base on a sacrifice fly to the right field foul territory. The rally ended as shortstop John Polonius hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

The Huskies took the 4-1 lead in the third inning as the first three batters of the inning recorded hits off WVU starter Corey Walter. Jon Testani scored on a Billy Ferriter single, followed by Ryan Moore scoring on a wild pitch to give Connecticut the 2-1 go-ahead lead. The Huskies tacked on two more runs before the inning concluded to go up 4-1.

WVU answered in the bottom of the frame, as a heads up play by center fielder Bobby Boyd saw him register a hit into center field that he stretched into a double. Left fielder Matt Frazer drove Boyd home with a single to left center field in the next at bat.

The game resumed at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon and the Huskies immediately scored two runs in the eighth to extend their lead to 10-2, however a five-run bottom of the frame from WVU shortened the Connecticut lead to 10-7.

Boyd registered his fourth hit of the game to lead off the inning, while pinch hitter Jon Roszel beat out a single to the pitcher to put two men on base. Shortstop John Polonius then smacked a single to center field that scored Boyd, while second baseman Billy Fleming doubled down the left field line the next at bat to score Roszel. Tyler Steele-Worsham came on as a pinch hitter, hitting into a fielder’s choice that allowed Polonius to score as the third baseman missed a throw from the pitcher that went into left field.

WVU scored its final two runs of the inning as third baseman Justin Fox doubled to right center field, driving in Steele-Worsham and Fleming to make it 10-7.

Boyd finished the game batting 4-for-5 with two runs, one double and one stolen base. Frazer and Fleming added two hits and an RBI for the Mountaineers.

Walter finished the game with 6.2 innings, allowing eight runs on 10 hits with one strikeout and no walks. The right-hander retired 12-consecutive Connecticut batters from the third to seventh innings.

Right-hander Austin Pressly came to the mound in relief of Walter in the seventh inning and pitched 0.1 of an inning before the delay began. Right-hander Jared Hill finished the game for WVU on the mound, pitching two innings, allowing one earned run on one hit with two strikeouts.

David Fischer recorded the win with two runs allowed off six hits and three strikeouts, and Scott Oberg earned the save by pitching a ninth in which he walked one.

The Mountaineers and Huskies will be back in action for game two at 4:30 p.m. Live stats will be available via MSNsportsNET.com.