CANTON, Ohio - The West Virginia University baseball team used a season high in runs to defeat Akron 17-6 in seven innings on Tuesday evening at Munson Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
The game was the third of four meetings between the Mountaineers and Zips with WVU holding a 2-1 series lead. West Virginia will host Akron in the final game of the series on Wednesday, May 9.
WVU (15-23) scored 17 runs on 14 hits with one error, while Akron (14-22) knocked in six runs on seven hits with five errors.
“We kept pecking away and scoring runs to distance ourselves,” coach Greg Van Zant says. “We scored one run in three consecutive innings and put a couple of big innings on them.”
The Mountaineers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run homer by Matt Frazer
. The blast to right field was Frazer’s team-leading fifth of the season.
“We came out, got runners on base in the first inning and Frazer hit a home run to jump ahead 3-0,” Van Zant says.
WVU extended the advantage to 5-0 with one run apiece in the third and fourth innings. The speedy Brady Wilson
doubled to lead off the third inning and was driven in by a Frazer double down the right field line. Stu Jeck drove in the fifth run for WVU in the fourth inning with a single down the right field line that scored Billy Fleming
from second base.
Akron scored one run in the bottom of the fourth, but WVU tacked on one run in the fifth, and then had a four-run sixth inning on a Ryan McBroom
single that resulted in an error charged to Akron, scoring two runs. Frazer drove in the fourth run of the inning with a double to deep right center field, bringing the score to 10-1.
The Mountaineers’ starting pitcher, left-hander Zach Bargeron
, recorded three strikeouts in five innings on the mound. Bargeron earned his first win of the season and allowed four runs on four hits. Bargeron was near flawless through the fifth, and then allowed the first three batters of the sixth inning to reach base and Pen Nakazato
relieved Bargeron. Nakazato forced his first two batters into outs, before a bases clearing triple by Akron reduced the WVU lead to 10-4.
“Bargeron went out and gave us five strong innings,” Van Zant says. “He didn’t attack the strike zone in the sixth, but he did a good job for us overall.”
WVU proved to be relentless and scored seven in the top of the seventh that included a two-run Wilson single, an RBI groundout by Bobby Boyd
and an RBI single by Nate Antone
Frazer led the Mountaineers at the plate, with a home run, two doubles, two runs and four RBIs. The first four batters in the lineup combined for 10 hits, 11 runs, eight RBIs, three doubles and one home run. In total, five Mountaineer hitters had at least two hits and six recorded at least two runs.
This weekend, WVU tangles with Pitt in BIG EAST action at Hawley Field. Friday’s game will begin at 7:05 p.m., and has been designated as a “Dollar Night” with all tickets, hot dogs, popcorn and Coca-Colas available for just one dollar. Saturday’s game will begin at 2 p.m., and Sunday’s finale has a 1 p.m. start time. The games on Friday and Sunday will be video streamed through MSNsportsNET.com, while WAJR-1440 AM will carry the games on the radio.