BOONE, N.C. – After putting up 18 runs in Hickory against Appalachian State yesterday, the West Virginia baseball team scored 18 runs once again on Wednesday, this time in an 18-5 victory at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium in a battle of the Mountaineers. WVU has now won six straight games and improve to 12-4 on the season while App State falls to 8-7.
“These two days couldn’t have gone any better,” said head coach Randy Mazey. “We scored a lot runs, pitched pretty well, and had the chance to get almost everybody on the team in the game to get some valuable experience.”
Freshman Ellis Garcia had four hits, including his first-career home run, in the game to give him seven hits for the two days against App State. He also added a double, two runs scored, and two RBI.
“Garcia started out a little bit slow this year, but we know he’s a good hitter,” continued Mazey. “Good hitters have hot and cold streaks and we knew he’d come around. He’s seeing the ball as well now as he has all season so that’s encouraging.”
Redshirt-senior Dayne Leonard added two hits and four RBI while freshman Logan Sauve reached base five times with a hit a four walks, coming around to score on three occasions to lead a pack of seven Mountaineers to cross home plate multiple times in the contest.
On the mound, Jake Carr earned the win by throwing 4.0 shutout innings in relief with a pair of strikeouts while allowing just two hits, shutting down the App State offense after it had scored five runs in the first three innings.
West Virginia jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after one with the runs coming on a sacrifice fly by Leonard, a single from redshirt-senior Caleb McNeely, a wild pitch, and Garcia’s solo home run.
App State got one run back in the second and took the lead with four runs in the third, but WVU evened it back up in the fourth on an RBI single from Leonard.
With Carr on the mound putting up zeroes, West Virginia took the lead in the sixth on a run-scoring triple from junior Braden Barry.
WVU tacked on three more runs in the seventh as junior Landon Wallace had an RBI double and redshirt-senior Tevin Tucker producing a run-scoring fielder’s choice. Wallace capped the inning by executing a straight steal of home, being ruled safe after it was determined the catcher blocked the plate. It was the second time this season that Wallace has stolen home and the third time that a Mountaineer has swiped home plate in the first 16 games of the season.
After tacking on a run in the eighth on a double from Garcia, the Mountaineers blew the game open in the ninth with eight runs. Leonard got the scoring started in the frame with a two-run double before a pair of bases-loaded walks brought in two more runs. Freshman Skylar King followed with a two-run double before another bases-loaded walk and a run-scoring groundout completed the snowman for WVU.
Junior Carlson Reed and redshirt-freshman David Hagaman completed the game on the mound for WVU, throwing 2.1 perfect innings.
West Virginia will continue its trip in the Tar Heel State this weekend as the Mountaineers will travel to UNC Greensboro to take on the Spartans for three games. First pitch on Friday is set for 4 p.m.