Designated hitter Matt Frazer batted 4-for-5 with two home runs and five RBIs to end a three-game losing streak with an 8-7 victory over Pitt on Tuesday evening at Charles L. Cost Field.
The Mountaineers finished with 13 hits, including three from first baseman Ryan McBroom and two from left fielder Jacob Rice. Rice added two runs, while McBroom drove in one.
"We didn't play great at the end, we walked some guys, but we got a win that in a game that we hadn't been getting wins in," coach Randy Mazey says. "Anytime you can win a game like that at Pitt you have to be happy."
Tied at 7-7 heading into the ninth inning, Rice began a one-out rally with a single to right field and then advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Following a Frazer single to left field and an intentional walk to third baseman Ryan Tuntland, shortstop Michael Constantini knocked the eventual game-winning bases loaded single to the right field gap, scoring Rice from third.
After relinquishing the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, right-hander Pascal Paul earned his first win at WVU, striking out the final two Pitt batters of the game. Paul went 1.2 innings in relief, allowing no runs on one hit with three strikeouts.
"Frazer had a great day and Ryan McBroom coming off a tough weekend had a great day offensively. We grinded out a lot of good at bats," Mazey says. "They grabbed the momentum with a four-spot in the bottom of the eighth, but we turned the tables right back and grabbed the momentum by scoring in the top of the ninth."
McBroom drove in the first run of the game for WVU in the second inning with a two-out double to left center field, scoring Tuntland from second base.
After Pitt tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second inning, Frazer hit his second homer of the season in the third inning to give WVU the 4-1 lead. The three-run blast went over the right field netting that protects the roadway and drove in catcher Alan Filauro and center fielder Bobby Boyd, who doubled and singled, respectively.
WVU brought the lead to 6-2 in the fifth inning on Frazer's second home run of the game and third of the season. The shot went to dead center field and plated Rice, who had doubled to right center field, from second base.
Pitt again inched closer at 6-3, but WVU was able to extend the lead to 7-3 in the top of the eighth as Filauro laid down a squeeze bunt that scored Constantini from third base.
The Panthers finally completed the comeback in the eighth inning, scoring four runs and sending 10 batters to the plate, to tie the game at 7-7. Pinch hitter John Peluso doubled down the right field line to score Boo Vazquez, cutting the deficit to 7-4. Evan Oswald then hit an infield single to shortstop, scoring pinch runner A.J. Lardo, while a bases loaded walk was issued to Eric Hess, bringing the WVU lead to 7-6. Casey Roche drove in the game-tying run with a bases loaded infield single to score Oswald, completing the comeback.
Pitt used solo home runs to right field from Sam Parente and Elvin Soto, in the second and sixth innings, respectively, to score two of its seven runs.
WVU left-hander Zach Bargeron lasted 1.1 innings in his second start of the season, allowing one run on one hit with one strikeout and two walks. Right-hander Ryan Tezak had a solid outing in relief, allowing one run on one hit in 3.0 innings of action.
Pitt starter Luke Curtis gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits with two strikeouts in 3.0 innings of work. J.R. Leonardi took the loss, giving up three hits and a run in the ninth inning.
Oswald led the Panthers with three hits, one run and one RBI.
WVU will open Big 12 play this weekend at Kansas State. Links to live video and live stats are available via WVUsports.com. All three games will be on the radio at WVUsports.com, as well as various Mountaineer Sports Network stations throughout West Virginia.