WATCH: Mountaineers Drop Doubleheader Finale, Win Series - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WATCH: Mountaineers Drop Doubleheader Finale, Win Series

Posted: Updated:
Per WVU Communications: Sophomore right-hander Michael Grove was excellent on the mound and the West Virginia University baseball team’s bats broke out in an 8-1 victory against Jacksonville on Saturday afternoon.
In front of 2,084 fans in the first game of a doubleheader at Monongalia County Ballpark, the Mountaineers (12-8) out-hit the Dolphins (11-14) 13-5 and all but one starter had at least one hit. WVU improved to 4-1 in its last five games and a perfect 2-0 at home.
Grove (2-1) was dominant in his first home start of the season and had his first quality start of the year. The Wheeling, West Virginia, native allowed one run on five hits in 7.2 innings. He struck out eight, his second-highest total this season, and did not walk a batter.
WVU scored two runs in the first and another in the second, and that was all the offense Grove needed.
Sophomore right fielder Darius Hill was one of three Mountaineers with two hits, and he had a team-high three RBIs. Hill’s two-RBI double in the first inning scored the eventual game-winning run.
Senior first baseman Jackson Cramer also had two hits, including a solo home run in the fifth inning, his second home run in as many days and his fourth of the year.
Freshman catcher Chase Illig also homered and had two RBIs, his second home run of his career.
The Mountaineers got on the board with two runs in the first inning, thanks to Hill’s two-RBI double to the wall in left center with two outs. The extra-base hit scored junior left fielder Kyle Davis and sophomore third baseman Cole Austin.
In the second, Illig’s home run made it 3-0. His second home run of the season just sailed to the left of the right-field foul pole.
Grove struck out the side in the third for his second 1-2-3 inning of the game. Both teams stranded runners in the fourth before each scoring a run in the fifth.
Jacksonville’s lonerun came on an RBI groundout with two outs, but the Mountaineers answered right back thanks to Cramer’s home run in the bottom of the fifth. The homer to right was Cramer’s fourth of the season and 22nd of his career.
After another 1-2-3 inning for Grove in the top of the sixth inning, a groundout in the bottom half scored another and gave the Mountaineers a 5-1 lead before a three-run seventh.
The seventh inning began with a hit-by-pitch and a single up the middle to put two runners on for Austin. Both runs scored when Austin reached on a fielding error, and Hill singled up the middle to plate Austin and make it 8-1.
Freshman right-handed reliever Alek Manoah pitched a perfect ninth inning to close out the 8-1 win and secure a series win for the Mountaineers.
After winning the series with an 8-1 victory in the opening game of a doubleheader, the West Virginia University baseball team lost the second game of the day, 8-2, on Saturday night at Monongalia County Ballpark.
The Mountaineers (12-9) were held to two runs on six hits, while the Dolphins (12-14) scored eight runs on 13 hits. WVU trailed 7-0 after two innings before responding with runs in the third and fourth innings, but could not get any closer. The West Virginia bullpen, consisting of six relievers, held JU to one run on six hits in the final seven innings.
“Doubleheaders are such a beating,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “At 5:30 this afternoon we were up 8-1 and as soon as that game ended they made up a seven run deficit. “The score goes to 0-0, they catch life and come out swinging the bats, and that’s why every coach in the world tries to avoid doubleheaders at all cost because the team that loses the first game has the momentum going into the second game just cause they tied it up. They came out swinging, you have to give them credit. They hit one of our best pitchers and they earned that one. We struck out 13 times in that second game, so hats off to them, they earned that one.”
Playing at home for the first time this season, West Virginia won its second consecutive weekend series thanks to a strong start on the mound by sophomore right-hander Michael Grove.
“It really helps, because I think we had lost a couple of series in a row coming into this,” Mazey said of getting the series win today. “College baseball is so tough to beat somebody three times, so winning series is what gets you into the postseason. That was a long day and our guys grinded it out as hard as they could.”
In Saturday’s second game, Jacksonville starter Casey Kulina struck out 11 batters in 6.0 innings. He allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits.
Sophomore catcher Ivan Gonzalez led WVU with two hits.
The Dolphins scored one run on an RBI double in the first inning, and added to their lead with six runs in the second. With one out in the second, three consecutive batters reached base before Nathan Koslowski hit a grand slam to put JU ahead, 5-0.
After freshman righty Isaiah Kearns relieved junior starter Conner Dotson, back-to-back hits scored the inning’s final run. Two of the six runs in the second inning were unearned.
The Mountaineer bullpen then proceeded to shut Jacksonville down. Three freshmen right-handers, Ryan McDonald, Riley Troutt and Frank Vesuvio, threw shutout innings. Troutt pitched a 1-2-3 fourth inning and Vesuvio followed with a perfect fifth.
As the bullpen was retiring Jacksonville, the offense scored a run in the third. The scoring began with one out and back-to-back singles. Sophomore shortstop Jimmy Galusky scored on a double steal with the help of two throwing errors.
WVU added a run in the fourth to make it 7-2. Senior first baseman Jackson Cramer led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a balk. Sophomore third baseman Darius Hill drove in Cramer with a single to left field.
West Virginia stranded two baserunners in the fifth inning before sophomore righty Jacob Potock pitched a perfect sixth inning. The Mountaineers then stranded another two runners in the sixth inning.
Jacksonville then added a run in the seventh inning on a solo home run by Sam Armstrong.
The Mountaineers were retired in order in the eighth and had one hit in the ninth, but couldn’t put together a late rally.

On Tuesday, the Backyard Brawl resumes with the 193rd edition of the rivalry against Pitt on Tuesday, March 28 at 6 p.m. ET, in Pittsburgh. WVU has won its last four road games in the series and owns a 104-88 all-time record against the Panthers.
  • More SportsMore>>

  • Izzo-Brown Inducted into WVSA Hall of Fame

    Izzo-Brown Inducted into WVSA Hall of Fame

    Monday, September 18 2017 1:34 PM EDT2017-09-18 17:34:43 GMT
    WVSA announces induction of WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown as meritorious member into WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVSA announces induction of WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown as meritorious member into WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    The West Virginia Soccer Association has announced the induction of WVU women's soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, as a meritorious member into the WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018.

    The West Virginia Soccer Association has announced the induction of WVU women's soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, as a meritorious member into the WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018.

  • Inside WVU Game Day: The Mountaineer Mascot

    Inside WVU Game Day: The Mountaineer Mascot

    Sunday, September 17 2017 10:32 AM EDT2017-09-17 14:32:13 GMT
    The Mountaineer Mascot celebrates a WVU touchdown at FedEx Field.The Mountaineer Mascot celebrates a WVU touchdown at FedEx Field.

    The atmosphere at Milan Puskar Stadium on game day is truly unlike any other and the Mountaineer mascot plays a big part in making the experience one of a kind.

    The atmosphere at Milan Puskar Stadium on game day is truly unlike any other and the Mountaineer mascot plays a big part in making the experience one of a kind.

  • No. 3 Mountaineers Swarm Spiders

    No. 3 Mountaineers Swarm Spiders

    Sunday, September 10 2017 5:18 PM EDT2017-09-10 21:18:38 GMT
    Michaela Abam and the WVU women's soccer team earned a 3-0 victory over Richmond on Sunday. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)Michaela Abam and the WVU women's soccer team earned a 3-0 victory over Richmond on Sunday. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)

    The No. 3-ranked WVU women’s soccer team earned its fifth win of the season on Sunday. Hear from Coach Izzo-Brown and the Mountaineers after the win.

    The No. 3-ranked WVU women’s soccer team earned its fifth win of the season on Sunday. Hear from Coach Izzo-Brown and the Mountaineers after the win.