JAMAICA, N.Y. – Left-handed starter Marshall Thompson pitched 8.1 innings and first baseman Ryan McBroom recorded four hits to lead WVU to a 3-1 win over St. John’s on Saturday afternoon at Jack Kaiser Stadium.
“I was extremely happy to get the win today because St. John’s is a really good ballclub,” coach Greg Van Zant says. “They have some weapons in their lineup and we faced one of the best pitcher’s in the conference today. They’re going to be teams that come in here this year and don’t win a game at St. John’s.”
Thompson allowed one run on four hits with four strikeouts. Despite walking 10, he forced the St. John’s hitters into leaving 13 men on-base, including the bases loaded twice. Thompson gave way to right-handed closer Ryan Tezak in the ninth, who allowed one hit and stranded two, to end the game on a ground out that shortstop John Polonius retrieved deep in the hole.
“I ran my pitch count up and was all over the place to start off,” Thompson says. “I was able to make pitches in big situations though. I was right around the zone and some umpires will give it to you, but others won’t.”
McBroom finished 4-for-5 with one double and an RBI. McBroom reached in his fifth at bat on what was ruled an error by the Red Storm second baseman Anthony Iacomini on a hit and run attempt.
“I’m going to the plate with confidence,” McBroom says. “I changed my approach this weekend and am focusing on putting balls in play up the middle. It’s worked so far, so we’ll see from here.”
WVU (12-17, 1-4 BIG EAST) earned its first BIG EAST win of the season, scoring three runs on 10 hits with no errors, while St. John’s (14-12, 3-2) scored one run on five hits with two errors.
Five WVU hitters went to the plate in each of the first three innings and the Mountaineers were able to capitalize to take a 1-0 lead in the third. Center fielder Bobby Boyd led off the inning with a single to right field, followed by steals of second and third base. McBroom came to the plate and hit a hard double over the right fielder’s head to score Boyd from third for the first score of the afternoon.
Third baseman Stuart Jeck doubled the WVU lead to 2-0 in the top of the sixth, scoring from second base on a two-out single to left field by catcher Alan Filauro. Jeck had originally reached as he was hit by a pitch, and then advanced to second as part of a double steal in which designated hitter Pen Nakazato was thrown out at third base.
Boyd, Polonius, Nakazato, Jeck, Filauro and left fielder Matt Frazer each had one hit for WVU in the victory. Matt Wessinger finished 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI for the Red Storm, while Danny Bethea also finished 2-for-3.
Kyle Hansen took the loss for St. John’s in six innings of work, allowing two runs on eight hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. Kevin Kilpatrick pitched in the final three innings of relief, and allowed one run on two hits with three strikeouts.
The teams return to action for the series finale tomorrow at Jack Kaiser Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. Right-hander Eddie Media will get the start for the Red Storm, while WVU has yet to decide on a starter.