Despite sophomore right-handed closer Ryan Tezak pitching eight innings of relief, the West Virginia University baseball team fell 5-4 in 12 innings to USF on Saturday afternoon at Hawley Field.
The loss eliminated WVU from any postseason play after the Mountaineers made a late rally by winning the first two games against the Bulls in the BIG EAST series finale.
West Virginia finished the season with a 23-32 record and finished 9-18 in BIG EAST play. USF improved to 34-20 overall with a 17-10 mark in the conference. WVU scored four runs on eight hits with one error, while USF scored five runs on 13 hits with no errors.
USF broke the tie game in the top of the 12th as Jimmy Falla walked to lead off the inning, stole second and then advanced to third on an infield single by Kyle Teaf. Pinch hitter Buddy Putnam did his job successfully and grounded out to second base, allowing Falla to score the eventual winning run from third base.
The loss went to Tezak (3-3) who entered the game in the fourth inning and pitched eight innings, allowing one run on seven hits with seven strikeouts. Starting left-hander Marshall Thompson went 3.2 innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits with three strikeouts.
Steve Leasure (1-0) took the win for USF, scattering one hit in two innings. Starter Matt Reed earned the no-decision in seven innings. Reed allowed four runs on seven hits.
Down 4-0 through the top of the fourth, the Mountaineers battled back and cut the USF lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth as junior right fielder Brady Wilson hit a solo home run to left center field to lead off the frame. The homer was Wilson's fourth of the season.
tied the game at 4-4 in the sixth with three runs on three hits that
was highlighted by an RBI single to center field by freshman center
fielder Bobby Boyd, an RBI walk to freshman second baseman Billy Fleming
and a sacrifice fly by sophomore left fielder Matt Frazer.
Wilson and Boyd finished the game with two hits, one run and one RBI apiece to lead the Mountaineers. Six WVU batters recorded at least one hit in the losing effort.
USF was paced offensively by Blake Sydeski, who went 3-for-6 with one RBI. Anthony Diaz had one hit and two RBIs, while Alex Mendez, Luis Llerena and James Ramsey all recorded two hits apiece.