JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After coming back from three runs down to take a lead, the West Virginia University baseball team fell 7-6 on a walk-off single at North Florida on Saturday afternoon at Harmon Stadium.
After scoring a run in the eighth inning to take a 6-5 lead, WVU let the win slip away as Joe Wielbruda knocked a game-winning single to left field scoring Donnie Dewees. Dewees drove in the tying run after hitting a pinch hit double down the right field line that hopped between first baseman Ryan McBroom
to score Alex Bacon from second.
The bright spot in the game for the Mountaineers was the 12 hits the offense produced, including five players who had two hits apiece. UNF also recorded 12 hits, while the Mountaineers committed three errors to UNF’s two.
“There is no way to go through an entire season without a game like this happening to you where you feel like you gave it away in the ninth inning,” coach Randy Mazey says. “Maybe today was just our day for it to happen. Like I said yesterday, you have to pitch, play defense and get timely hits. Today we got the timely hits, but we had seven walks on the mound and three errors. It’s really hard to overcome that no matter who you play. We’re going to keep grinding and our guys are going to stay positive and hopefully be a good team at the end of the year.”
With his first career hit as a Mountaineer, shortstop Michael Constantini
broke a 5-5 tie in the eighth inning with a two-out single through the left side scoring first baseman Ryan McBroom
from third, bringing the score to 6-5.
WVU tied the game back in the fifth inning as back-to-back-to-back singles began the frame with designated hitter Matt Frazer
’s being an RBI poke through the right side to score center fielder Taylor Munden
. The fourth hit of inning came off the bat of second baseman Billy Fleming
, plating Ryan Tuntland
Fleming, Frazer, Munden, Tuntland and catcher Alan Filauro
each recorded two hits with Frazer driving in two runs. Constantini, Fleming and right fielder Brady Wilson
added one RBI apiece.
WVU jumped out to a fast start in the first inning with one run on three hits. Frazer drove in left fielder Bobby Boyd
, who led off the game with a single, from third base. However, McBroom grounded into an unlucky double play on a hit and run that went up the middle to the second baseman who was covering the steal.
Wilson drove in WVU’s second run of the game in the second inning on a fielder’s choice to second base that enabled Fleming to cross home plate.
UNF scored runs in each of the first three innings to take an early 5-2 lead. An RBI single by Corbin Olmstead drove in Drew Weeks and the ball went under the glove of Boyd to score Ryan Roberson from first in the opening frame.
The Mountaineers received help from UNF starting pitched Kyle Westwood in the fourth inning as he balked to score Fleming, cutting the UNF lead to 5-3.
In his first game in almost two years, WVU starter Harrison Musgrave
earned a no-decision in 4.0 innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits. The left-hander struck out one and walked three.
Lefty Zach Bargeron
and right-handers Ryan Tezak
and Pascal Paul
all saw action in relief. Bargeron struck out one, allowing three hits in 2.1 innings, followed by 1.1 innings of no-hit ball by Tezak. Paul took the loss, going 1.0 inning and allowing two runs on two hits.
Spencer Hermann earned the victory as he pitched 2.2 innings of relief for UNF. Hermann allowed one run on two hits with three strikeouts. Westwood finished with six strikeouts in 6.1 innings pitched, taking the no-decision.
The series finale will be tomorrow at noon. Live stats are available on WVUsports.com, while a live video stream will be on ASun.tv. Right-hander Dan Dierdorff
will get the start for the Mountaineers and will be opposed by UNF’s Nick Allbritton.