PITTSBURGH – The West Virginia University baseball swept the season series against Pitt with a 6-4 victory on Tuesday evening at Charles L. Cost Field.
The Mountaineers improved to 16-8 overall and won 2-0 in the season series after winning 6-3 last Tuesday in Morgantown. Pitt fell to 15-12 overall and was issued its first home loss this season.
"I like where we're at right now, but we can't start drinking the Kool-Aid just yet. There is a lot of work left to do," coach Randy Mazey says. "We'll feel good about this one on the bus on the way home, but when we get to practice tomorrow we're going to start planning for TCU."
WVU pounded out 11 hits, led by two hits and three RBIs off the bat of junior catcher Cam O’Brien. Junior center fielder Bobby Boyd
had three hits and junior third baseman Justin Fox
had two hits, while six different players scored one run.
"I've been waiting for Cam to come along and come along," Mazey says. "He's actually been swinging the bat OK, he just hasn't been getting any hits. It was really good to see that happen to him because he'll go into this weekend with some confidence and confidence is everything to a hitter."
O’Brien gave the Mountaineers the go-ahead 6-4 lead in the top of the seventh with a two-run bases loaded single up the middle. The two-out hit scored Fox from second and senior first baseman Ryan McBroom
The win was awarded to right-handed reliever Michael Bennett
(2-0), who gave up two runs on four hits in 2.2 innings. Bennett struck out one and walked one. Right-hander Corey Walter
picked up his fourth save of the season, entering the game in the seventh inning. Walter struck out one in 2.1 innings, allowing two hits with one strikeout.
Boyd led off the game with a double to the right center field gap and then scored on a wild pitch to give WVU a 1-0 lead. It was the 19th time this season that WVU has scored the game’s first run.
Pitt took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third following a two-run single to right field by Casey Roche. Stephen Vranka, who reached on an error, and Dylan Wolsonovich scored on the base knock.
Following Pitt taking the lead, junior left-hander John Means
(4-1) was relieved after reaching his pitch count. Means allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits in 2.2 innings pitched. He struck out three and walked two in the no-decision.
"He was basically just getting ready to pitch on Sunday against TCU. Conference means everything to us," Mazey says. "We have to finish well in the conference and if he wouldn't have pitched this week, he would've had over two weeks off since he pitched last. He needed to get out there and face some hitters, it was good that he did."
The Mountaineers took advantage of a Pitt error in the top of the fourth, scoring three runs and taking a 4-2 lead. Senior left fielder Jacob Rice
scored on a fielder’s choice to second base by freshman designated hitter Jackson Cramer
to tie the game. O’Brien laced a doubled down the right field to score freshman right fielder Shaun Wood
and Cramer scored on a successful squeeze bunt by junior shortstop Cody Semler
Back-to-back doubles by Steven Shelinsky Jr. and Jordan Frabasilio tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth as Shelinsky Jr. drove in Eric Hess and Frabasilio plated Shelinsky Jr.
Roche went 3-for-5 with two RBIs to lead the Panthers. Pitt reliever Sam Mersing (1-1) took the loss, allowing two runs on two hits in 0.2 innings with three walks and one strikeout.
West Virginia will open the road Big 12 season at TCU this weekend. Friday’s game will start at 7:30 p.m., Saturday’s game will begin at 5 p.m. and Sunday’s finale, which will be televised by Fox Sports Southwest, is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start.
A link to a video stream and live stats will be available on WVUsports.com. The radio broadcast will be on select affiliates of the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG College. Click here for a list of radio affiliates.