WACO, Texas – Eight strong innings from junior right-hander BJ Myers and timely hitting led the West Virginia University baseball team to a 7-1 win at No. 10 Baylor on Friday night in Waco, Texas.
In the opening game of Big 12 Conference play at Baylor Ballpark, the Mountaineers (9-7, 1-0 Big 12) scored a run in the first inning and took a 3-0 lead in the third and never looked back.
Myers allowed one run in 8.0 innings and WVU handed the Bears (15-3, 0-1) just their third loss of the year and second home loss in 12 games.
“Couldn’t ask for anything better,” Mazey said of WVU’s start to the weekend. “We really needed BJ to get back to being BJ, we needed a win, a conference win. I think not playing in the midweek helped us rest a little bit. Hopefully this is the point that will propel us to the rest of the season.”
Myers was outstanding on the mound, allowing one run on five hits in a season-long 8.0 innings. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.
A Flower Mound, Texas, native, Myers did not allow a hit in four of the first five innings and allowed just five runners to reach second base all night.
“He really needed to pitch well tonight,” Mazey said. “He hasn’t been as sharp recently, but he came out tonight and mixed all of his pitches, threw a lot of strikes, didn’t give a lot of free bases and he had no walks. He had six strikeouts and we played pretty good defense behind him, that’s what happens when you do those two things.”
The offense backed Myers up, with 13 hits and seven walks. West Virginia had runners reach in every inning and all but one starter had at least one hit.
Senior first baseman Jackson Cramer, who joined Myers as one of five starters from the state of Texas, had two hits, two RBIs, two runs scored and two walks. Sophomore third baseman Cole Austin had a season-high-tying three hits and an RBI, extending his hitting streak to a career-high-tying eight games. Sophomores Darius Hill and Marques Inman each had two hits and an RBI.
The Mountaineers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a two-out RBI single by Cramer.
Myers got his strong night started with a 1-2-3 bottom half of the first, including his first two strikeouts.
After stranding a runner in the second, WVU added to its lead with two runs in the third inning to make it 3-0. With the bases loaded and one out, Hill singled up the middle to score the first run, and a groundout brought in the second.
Baylor’s lone run came in the bottom of the third on a throwing error. However, Myers got the next two outs to avoid any further damage.
West Virginia answered right back though, loading the bases and scoring two runs for the second consecutive inning to take a 5-1 lead. The fourth began with a double and infield single to put two on. A walk loaded the bases with one out, and Cramer’s sacrifice fly scored the first. Austin followed with a single up the middle to bring in the second run.
The Bears threatened in the sixth inning, with a leadoff single followed by a double to the wall in center. However, freshman center fielder Brandon White quickly got the ball to sophomore shortstop Jimmy Galusky, who relayed it to sophomore catcher Ivan Gonzalez to get the runner trying to score from first in plenty of time.
The Baylor defense followed with a nice defensive play in the top of the seventh to turn an inning-ending double play, and Myers responded with a 1-2-3 bottom half.
The Mountaineers added two insurance runs on a two-out, two-RBI double by Gonzalez in the ninth inning. The double to left gave WVU a 7-1 lead.
Senior Jackson Sigman pitched a scoreless ninth inning to preserve the win.
The series at Baylor Ballpark continues on Saturday, with the first pitch set for 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Southwest Plus and FOX College Sports Central. Sunday’s finale is at noon ET/11 a.m. CT on FCS Central. Both games will also be streamed online.
Fans can listen to the games on the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG, online at WVUsports.com, on the Mountaineer Gameday App and the TuneInRadio App. Links to live streams, radio broadcast and live stats for all three games can be found on the baseball schedule page on WVUsports.com.
Additional behind-the-scenes updates, news and notes from Waco can be found on social media by following and connecting with the team at @WVUBaseball on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
NOTES: WVU improved to 9-7 on the season, 1-0 on Big 12 Conference play and 3-0 vs. teams ranked in the top-25 … West Virginia takes a 7-6 lead in the all-time series against Baylor … WVU handed Baylor it’s second home loss of the season in 12 games … Starter BJ Myers pitched a season-long 8.0 innings, allowing one run on five hits with six strikeouts and no walks … Cole Austin extended his hitting streak to a career-high-tying eight games with a season-high three hits and one RBI … West Virginia pitchers did not walk a batter, while WVU hitters drew seven walks … Eight of the nine WVU starters had at least one hit and five had at least one RBI.
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.