The big inning proved costly again as the WVU baseball team fell 8-4 in the series finale to No. 18 Louisville on Sunday afternoon at Hawley Field.
The squads were tied at 2-2 after six innings and Louisville was able to score four runs in the seventh inning to put the game out of WVU's grasp.
The victory in today's rubber match gave Louisville the series win after the teams split a doubleheader on Saturday. The Mountaineers fell to 18-29 overall with the loss and 6-15 in the BIG EAST. The Cardinals improve to 33-15 overall with a 14-7 mark in the conference.
After falling behind 2-0 after two innings, the WVU offense began to come alive in the fifth, cutting the lead in half off a double by junior catcher Alan Filauro. Freshman second baseman Billy Fleming continued his hot series in the sixth inning with a game-tying RBI single to left center field that scored sophomore designated hitter Matt Frazer.
Unfortunately for the Mountaineers and junior right-hander Dan Dierdorff, Louisville countered with four runs on three hits in the seventh inning to take a commanding 6-2 lead. Nick Ratajczak highlighted the frame with a two-run single to right field.
Louisville came back in the eighth inning and scored two runs, but the Mountaineers continued to fight in the bottom half of the inning as sophomore first baseman Ryan McBroom drove in freshman center fielder Bobby Boyd with a double into the right field gap to bring the score to 8-3. WVU closed the gap to 8-4 by way of a double by junior shortstop John Polonius.
Dierdorff (4-6) finished 6.1 innings for the Mountaineers, allowing six runs on five hits. Dierdorff was able to hold Louisville hitless for three innings starting in the top half of the third. Relievers Caleb Ross, Josh Harlow and Ryan Tezak finished out the game for Dierdorff.
Louisville starter Jared Ruxer (6-1) allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits in six innings pitched. Like the Mountaineers, the Cardinals used a trio of relievers to complete the final three innings.
Polonius led WVU at the plate with three hits and one RBI. Ratajczak finished his afternoon with two hits, one run and three RBIs for the Cardinals, while pinch hitter Matt Helms went 2-for-2 with two runs and a walk.
WVU returns to action to close out a season-long four-game series with Akron at Hawley Field on Wednesday, May 9 at noon.