WVU Wins Home Opener

  • March 14, 2003 09:51 PM
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By John Antonik for MSNsportsNET.com
March 14, 2003

  • MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia slugged three more home runs and Zac Cline held Le Moyne to three runs over seven innings to lead the Mountaineers to a 12-3 victory Friday night at Hawley Field.

      Sophomore Zac Cline improved his record to 3-1 with West Virginia's 12-3 win oer Le Moyne Friday. (All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks)

    West Virginia has made a complete turnaround at the plate this year, slugging 17 home runs in its first 11 games. Last year the Mountaineers accounted for just 37 home runs for the entire season.

    WVU got round trippers by Grant Psomas, Eric Grimm and Travis D’Amico on the way to scoring 10 runs or more in a game for the second time this year.

    Leading 7-0 after five, West Virginia broke the game open with a five-run sixth. Nine WVU batters came to the plate against three different Le Moyne pitchers. Tim McCabe, Eric Grimm and Derek Cisar knocked in runs for WVU in the inning; West Virginia’s other two runs came via wild pitches.

    Le Moyne picked up its three runs in the seventh against a tiring Cline, who walked two in the inning and issued six free passes for the game.

    Cline also got himself into trouble in the fourth, walking the bases loaded before getting an infield fly out, a strike out, and a ground out to escape the inning unscathed.

    “I try not to panic and just work with the catcher,” he said. “I don’t know if I was having mechanical trouble or what, but I had a little trouble finding the strike zone. When you get into these situations sometimes you need to get a little luck and I was also able to make a couple of good pitches when I needed to.”

    Cline fanned seven and allowed just five hits to improve to 3-1 on the season.

    “I’m trying to count on myself to go deep into games and tonight I wish I could have maybe gone all the way and saved Justin (Asbury) for a game tomorrow or Sunday, but my pitch count got a little too high tonight,” said Cline.

    Asbury came in relief of Cline to pitch two scoreless innings, striking out one and walking one.

    “We’ve got some young guys on our pitching staff that don’t have a lot of experience, but we’re going to improve as the season goes along,” said Cline.

    Brian Mattoon gave up seven earned runs on 11 hits in five innings of work for Le Moyne to drop to 0-3.

    Cisar, D’Amico, Lee Fritz and Casey Bowling had two hits each for the Mountaineers, now 6-5.

    Grimm drove in a game-high three runs.

    Le Moyne drops to 1-7 with the loss.

    The two teams will play two seven-inning games tomorrow beginning at 1 p.m. West Virginia coach Greg Van Zant will start senior righthander Jason D’Angelo in the first game.

    WWVU-FM will carry both games on the Internet and the broadcast can be accessed by clicking on the Baseball Live Events Schedule link on the main page.