The record crowd more than doubles the previous Hawley Field record of 1,174 that was set against Maryland in 2007.
“It was unbelievable. I can’t even put into words how good I felt about the atmosphere tonight,” coach Randy Mazey says. “I was hitting infield/outfield to the team before the game and our guys were hopping around with a lot of energy. To look on the hill and see all the fans, I thought, OK this is Big 12 baseball right here.”
Despite outhitting Pitt, 12-10, West Virginia was unable to string hits together late, when they trailed by just one run heading into the ninth inning. Senior right fielder Brady Wilson
led off with a single through the right side, but was unable to score as a ground out to second base by junior shortstop Michael Constantini
ended the contest.
The Mountaineers (27-19) and Panthers (33-11) split the season series after WVU won 8-7 in Pittsburgh on March 12.
Freshman right-hander Brock Dykxhoorn
(2-1) took his first loss of the season, not allowing a run until the fourth inning, when he left up six. Dykxhoorn allowed five hits, with three strikeouts and one walk in 4.0 innings of work.
Junior right-handers Ryan Tezak
, Pascal Paul
and Corey Holmes
, as well as sophomore right-hander Taylor Munden
pitched the final 5.0 innings. Paul struck out three in 1.0 inning of work.
The Mountaineers scored their first run of the game with three consecutive singles by junior first baseman Ryan McBroom
, junior designated hitter Matt Frazer
and sophomore second baseman Billy Fleming
to start off the bottom of the fourth inning. Senior catcher Alan Filauro
would then ground into a double play, driving in Frazer for the second and final run of the frame, cutting the Pitt lead to 6-2.
The lead was then brought down to 6-3 in the bottom of the fifth as junior third baseman Ryan Tuntland
hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring sophomore center fielder Bobby Boyd
A three-run eighth inning brought the Mountaineers within one at 7-6 in the bottom of the eighth. Fleming would double down the right field line scoring McBroom, who reached by error to start off the bottom half of the frame. Boyd then drove in junior left fielder Jacob Rice
and Filauro with a triple to the right field fence.
Boyd, Fleming, Rice and Wilson each had two hits, while Boyd and Fleming each drove in two and McBroom scored two.
The Panthers struck first in the top of the fourth inning on a bases loaded single to center field by Elvin Soto. Second baseman Bennette Hill would cap off a six-run inning with a grand slam, his first home run of the season.
Pitt notched its final run in the top of the seventh inning, an RBI single off the bat of starting pitcher Casey Roche.
Roche (1-0) would get the win, tossing 5.2 innings and allowed three runs on eight hits. Jonathan Danielczyk picked up his first save of the season, allowing one hit in the ninth.
Tonight’s game featured a special presentation following the second inning as Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed the TIF bill into law which will finance a development in Monogalia County which will include a new ballpark for WVU.
The Mountaineers will travel to Appalachian Power Park this weekend, taking on Big 12 opponent Oklahoma from May 3-5. Game one begins at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, game two begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday and the first pitch for game three is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday.
The games will be video streamed on WVUsports.com, while the radio broadcast will be on select affiliates of the Mountaineer Sports Network, with Morgantown affiliate WAJR 1440 AM serving as the flagship station.