Grove, Pitching Lead WVU to 3-1 Win

  • By Charlie Healy
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  • March 10, 2017 09:52 PM
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NORFOLK, Va. – Sophomore right-handed pitcher Michael Grove threw five no-hit innings to lead the West Virginia University baseball team to a 3-1 victory at Old Dominion in the second game of a doubleheader on Friday evening in Norfolk, Virginia.
Grove and freshman reliever Kade Strowd combined to no-hit ODU into the seventh inning as the Mountaineers (8-6) held the Monarchs (10-4) to one run on two hits.
Grove was lights-out on the mound and did not allow a hit in 5.0 innings of work. He struck out 11, two shy of his career high, while walking three and picked up his first win of the season.
“He was the Michael Grove of old, right when we needed it,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “That was the most encouraging thing, watching him pitch those last few innings today. He took it upon himself to put this team on his shoulders after the way we lost the first game. That’s what we need when something like that happens. Carry the team, and that’s exactly what he did.”
The Wheeling, West Virginia, native faced the minimum in the first, second and fourth innings. Beginning in the third inning, Grove retired eight of the nine batters he faced, all via the strikeout.
After missing his start last weekend, Grove threw 85 pitches on Friday night, 53 for strikes. It was his fourth career appearance of at least five innings where he did not allow an earned run.
Old Dominion’s first hit of the game did not come until the seventh inning, a leadoff double.
Junior left fielder Kyle Davis had one of WVU’s eight hits, a home run in the sixth inning for the eventual game-winning run.
WVU got on the board in the fourth, thanks to back-to-back singles and a throwing error. Sophomore catcher Ivan Gonzalez singled home sophomore first baseman Marques Inman from second to put the Mountaineers ahead, 1-0.
After a 1-2-3 fifth inning, Davis added to West Virginia’s lead with his second home run of the season in the sixth. The one-out homer to left field gave WVU a 2-0 lead.
Strowd relieved Grove in the sixth and did not miss a beat, retiring ODU in order.
The Mountaineers added to their lead with a run in the seventh. With two outs, Davis reached on an error, allowing Brophy to score.
The Monarchs broke up Grove and Strowd’s combined no hitter in the seventh on a leadoff double by Zach Rutherford. After he advanced to third on a groundout, Rutherford scored Old Dominion’s lone run on an infield single.
Strowd followed with a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth to keep it a 3-1 game, and freshman righty-hander Alek Manoah pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his second save of the season.
West Virginia’s first hit of the game came in the third, when freshman third baseman Kevin Brophy singled for his first hit of his career. Brophy, who was picked off first base, was one of three Mountaineers with a hit in the inning.
The three-game series concludes with a single game on Saturday at 3 p.m. Due to wintery weather expected in the Norfolk area on Sunday, no game will be played on Sunday. WVU lost the first game of today’s doubleheader, 8-4.
Old Dominion will have a live stream (subscription required) and live stats for all three games this weekend. Those links can be found on the baseball schedule page on WVUsports.com. Additional behind-the-scenes updates, news and notes from Norfolk, Virginia, can be found on social media by following and connecting with the team at @WVUBaseball on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
NOTES: WVU improved to 8-6 on the season and 7-3 all-time against Old Dominion … West Virginia played its first doubleheader of the season … Starter Michael Grove did not allow a hit or run in 5.0 innings, striking out a season-high 11 with three walks … Grove and reliever Kade Strowd combined to no-hit Old Dominion into the seventh inning … Alek Manoah pitched a scoreless ninth inning and earned his second save of the year … Kevin Brophy singled in the third inning for his first career hit … Kyle Davis hit his second home run of the season in the sixth inning, the eventual game-winning run.
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.
For more information on the Mountaineers, follow WVU Baseball on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and visit WVUsports.com.