NEW ORLEANS – The West Virginia University baseball team exploded for 18 runs on 20 hits in an 18-5 victory at Tulane on Sunday afternoon.
In the series finale at Turchin Stadium, the Mountaineers (7-4) scored 18 or more runs and had 20 or more hits for the second time in the season’s first 11 games. WVU scored multiple runs in five of the first six innings after getting shut out for the first time in 2017 on Saturday.
Eight of West Virginia’s nine starters had at least one hit, and six had at least one RBI in the victory. Five Mountaineers had multiple hits and multiple RBIs. With Saturday’s 18 runs scored and 22 runs on Feb. 25 at No. 18 Coastal Carolina, WVU has scored 18 or more runs twice in a season for the first time since 2010.
“This is our third consecutive win on a Sunday, and that’s usually when championship games are played, so if we can get into anybody’s bullpen, it looks like we have a chance to put up some runs,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “It’s the whole way through the lineup. We’re getting production from the top, the middle and the bottom, so that’s encouraging when you can do that.”
The offensive outburst was led by junior left fielder Kyle Davis
, who had three hits and a career-high five RBIs. Sophomore shortstop Jimmy Galusky
was 3-3 with three hits, a career-best three RBIs, three runs scored and a pair of walks.
Sophomore third baseman Cole Austin
added a career-high-tying three hits and two RBIs, including an inside-the-park home run, his third homer of the season. Austin also scored a game-high four runs. Sophomore designated hitter Marques Inman
had a career-best four hits with two RBIs and three runs scored and sophomore catcher Ivan Gonzalez
was 2-3 with a pair of hits, a career-high three RBIs and two runs scored.
Additionally, sophomore right fielder Darius Hill
had one hit, extending his hitting streak to a career-long and team-leading 13 games.
Five of West Virginia’s 18 runs were unearned, thanks to five Tulane errors. The Green Wave (3-8) scored five runs on seven hits. WVU committed two errors, which led to one unearned run.
Junior right-handed starter Conner Dotson
improved to 3-0 on the season. In 5.0 innings, he allowed four runs on four hits with seven strikeouts. Freshman right-hander Riley Troutt
followed with 3.0 innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits with one strikeout. Freshman righty Alek Manoah
pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
WVU got its big day underway with four runs in the first inning, all unearned. With runners on the corners, Austin singled home the first run. Inman followed with a bases-clearing double, and Galusky then singled to score Inman.
After a scoreless top of the second, Tulane scored a pair in the bottom half on two-run home run by Jeremy Montalbano. However, the Mountaineers’ bats answered right back with five runs in the top of the third.
Austin opened the scoring with an inside-the-park home run. It was his third of the season, seventh of his career and the first inside-the-park homer for the Mountaineers this season. Inman then singled and worked his way around the bases on two wild pitches and a failed pickoff attempt. Galusky, who walked, scored on Gonzalez’s single, and both Gonzalez and freshman center fielder Brandon White
scored on a Davis double. WVU scored five runs on four hits with the help of two errors to take a 9-2 lead.
However, Tulane responded with two runs in the bottom half on a two-RBI double. Dotson induced a flyout to strand the bases loaded and prevent any further damage.
With a 9-4 lead, the Mountaineers scored three in the fourth and fifth innings and two in the sixth to blow it open. Scoring in the fourth began with a sacrifice fly and was followed by a bases-loaded double by Davis to score two more.
WVU’s three runs in the fifth all came with two outs. Galusky hit an RBI double and scored on Gonzalez’s single. Davis brought in another run with a single to center field to cap the inning and give West Virginia a 15-4 lead.
Meanwhile, Dotson retired the Green Wave in order in both the fourth and fifth innings, putting an end to the Tulane scoring run.
The Mountaineers added a pair of runs in the sixth on four hits. After a sacrifice fly scored the first run, Galusky doubled to bring home Austin.
Troutt entered in the bottom of the sixth, and the only threat he faced in his first inning was a walk. In the seventh, he gave up two singles, but a double play helped end the inning.
Tulane scored one in the eighth, an unearned run thanks to a throwing error by Austin.
West Virginia got the run back in the top of the ninth, when freshman Isaiah Kearns
hit his first career home run.
WVU’s roadtrip through Louisiana continues with a midweek series at Southeastern Louisiana on March 7-8. First pitch on both days is set for 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT. Live stats and video will be available for both games, and those links can be found on the baseball schedule page on WVUsports.com
. Additional behind-the-scenes updates, news and notes from Hammond, Louisiana, can be found on social media by following and connecting with the team at @WVUBaseball on Twitter
WVU improved to 7-4 on the season, 3-0 on Sundays and 2-2 after a loss … After scoring 17 runs today and 23 runs on Feb. 25 at No. 18 Coastal Carolina, WVU has scored 17 or more runs twice in a season for the first time since 2010, when the Mountaineers scored more than 20 runs twice … Darius Hill
singled in the sixth inning to extend his hitting streak to a career-best and team-high 13 games … Kyle Davis
had a career-best five RBIs to go along with three hits … Marques Inman
had a career-best and team-high four hits and added two RBIs and three runs scored … Jimmy Galusky
had a career-best three RBIs with three hits and three runs scored … Ivan Gonzalez
had a career-high three RBIs and added two hits and two runs scored … Cole Austin
hit an inside-the-park home run, his third home run of the season and seventh of his career and he had a career-high-tying three hits with two RBIs and four runs scored … Starter Conner Dotson
improved to 3-0 with 5.0 innings, allowing four runs on four hits with seven strikeouts.
Season tickets, single game tickets, flex plan tickets and mini packs for the 2017 WVU baseball season are on sale now. Fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-800-WVU GAME, going to WVUGAME.com
or visiting the Mountaineer Ticket Office in the WVU Coliseum. The 2017 schedule is available on WVUsports.com