WACO, Texas – Junior first baseman Ryan McBroom
drove in the eventual game-winning run with a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth, giving the WVU baseball team a 9-8 victory over Baylor on Friday evening at Baylor Ballpark.
The win is the eighth in a row for the Mountaineers and improves their record to 17-13 overall (4-3 Big 12). Baylor drops to 14-16 overall and 3-3 in conference play.
“We had a big lead on them and we felt like we let them back into the game,” coach Randy Mazey says. “They came back in the seventh and we jumped right back on top and scored some runs after giving up a bunch of runs, that’s the sign of a good team. This is a really good win for the program.”
Ahead 8-7 after eight innings of play, McBroom hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring senior right fielder Brady Wilson
from third to give the Mountaineers a 9-7 lead. Wilson led off the inning with a four-pitch walk and then stole second and advanced to third on a single through the left side by junior third baseman Ryan Tuntland
Baylor brought the Mountaineer lead back to one at 9-8 with a Cal Towey sacrifice fly, but junior right-hander Pascal Paul
(2-3) was able to pick up the victory, forcing Nathan Orf into a game-ending ground out to shortstop with runners on the corners.
Paul pitched the final 2.2 innings, allowing one earned run on five hits with three strikeouts and one walk.
Tuntland led the team offensively with three hits and two runs, while McBroom finished with two hits, two RBIs and two runs. Seven different WVU players recorded a hit with four registering multi-hit games. As a team, the Mountaineers cranked out 12 hits to Baylor’s 10.
“It feels good as a coach to get into that part of the lineup with those guys (Tuntland and McBroom) swinging the bat as well as they are,” Mazey says. “When we let them back into the game those guys led off innings with big hits and started rallies for us.”
The game was scoreless until a long fifth inning when WVU scored six runs on seven hits, while Baylor notched one run to bring the score to 6-1.
Tuntland and McBroom led off the frame with back-to-back singles, followed by three consecutive bunts that proved to be trouble for the Bears. Following a sacrifice bunt by sophomore second baseman Billy Fleming
, senior catcher Alan Filauro
and sophomore shortstop Taylor Munden
each laid down successful squeeze bunts, scoring Tuntland and McBroom, respectively. Both Filauro and Munden reached base safely on the bunts, while a triple to right field by sophomore center fielder Bobby Boyd
cleared the bases, bringing the score to 4-0. Three more consecutive singles by Wilson, junior left fielder Jacob Rice
and junior designated hitter Matt Frazer
extended the WVU lead to 6-0.
Five walks issued to Baylor in the bottom of the seventh led to a five-run inning, tying the game at 6-6. After the Bears scored three runs to bring the game within two runs, Tuntland committed an error on a ball that went to shallow left field, plating Grayson Porter and Lawton Langford to tie the game.
However, WVU showed resiliency as Tuntland and McBroom led off the eighth inning with singles, the second time they had done so. Tuntland stole second during McBroom’s at bat and scored on McBroom’s single to center field, putting WVU ahead 7-6. McBroom extended the lead to 8-6 after stealing third base and scoring on a throwing error by Baylor catcher Brett Doe.
Baylor was able to cut the WVU lead to 8-7 in the bottom of the eighth as Orf doubled down the left field line and scored on a two-out single up the middle by Porter.
While each team’s starters were effective, both took no-decisions. WVU sophomore lefty Harrison Musgrave
(4-1) ended a streak of three consecutive wins, allowing two runs on four hits in 6.0 innings. He struck out three batters and walked four.
Baylor starter Dillon Newman had retired 12 consecutive batters prior to the fifth inning and then proceeded to allow five earned runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings. Newman struck out seven without issuing a walk.
Towey, Logan Brown and Adam Toth each had two hits to lead Baylor at the plate.
Game two of the series is set for Saturday at 4:05 p.m. EST. The game can be heard on the affiliates of the Mountaineers Sports Network (WAJR 1440 AM in Morgantown). Links to live video, audio and stats of the games can be accessed at WVUsports.com.