The West Virginia University baseball team dropped a 9-6 ballgame to Coastal Carolina on Sunday afternoon at Monongalia County Ballpark.
In the rubber match of the three-game weekend series in Morgantown, the Mountaineers loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning but were unable to produce a late rally. WVU finished with six runs on nine hits with an error, while Coastal tallied nine runs on five hits with an error.
WVU led, 4-1, at one point, before a six-run fifth by the Chanticleers shifted the contest. CCU’s Keaton Hopwood earned the win, while freshman right-handed pitcher Carlson Reed took the loss for West Virginia.
“Today’s game got away because we didn’t handle the ball,” WVU assistant coach Steve Sabins said. “I told the team that we went 3-2 on the week and kind of stole a game on Saturday but gave away a game today. So, it probably ended up exactly where we were supposed to be.
“We appear to have a lot of talent on our team, and we were healthy today for the first time (in weeks), so that’s pretty exciting to see the arms and what the lineup might look like moving forward.”
Coastal Carolina (12-6) played from in front early again on Sunday, scoring a run in the top of the first off junior left-handed pitcher Adam Tulloch. From there, WVU (8-7) quickly grabbed the lead in the bottom of the second with senior infielder Tyler Doanes’ two-run double to left center.
Then, in the fourth, fifth-year senior infielder Kevin Brophy smashed a two-run homer to right, extending West Virginia’s lead to 4-1. The long ball marked the Randolph, New Jersey, native’s fourth of the year.
Coastal’s big inning came in the fifth when the visitors plated six runs to take a 7-4 lead. The Chanticleers took advantage of a Mountaineer throwing error, before tallying a sacrifice fly, two-run single, RBI triple and an RBI single to close out the frame.
In the seventh, CCU added two more runs, stretching its lead to five at 9-4.
Later, WVU attempted to set up a big comeback, scoring a run in the eighth off a fielder’s choice, before grabbing another run in the ninth, thanks to fifth-year senior first baseman/outfielder Hudson Byorick’s RBI single up the middle, which followed a triple off the bat of sophomore outfielder Victor Scott from earlier in the inning.
West Virginia ended up loading the bases in the frame and brought the winning run to the plate with two outs. Moments later, however, Coastal was able to close the game with a strikeout.
Freshman infielder Mikey Kluska finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored in the setback, while Doanes tallied three RBI. Byorick went 2-for-3, while Brophy’s home run netted him two RBI on the day.
On the mound, Tulloch threw seven strikeouts in three innings of work, allowing a run on no hits. A total of six Mountaineer relievers entered Sunday’s affair, including sophomore right-hander Tim Wynia, who retired all six batters he faced in the eighth and ninth.
Following the weekend, WVU now trails Coastal Carolina in the all-time series, 12-5. Of note, the three-game set marked CCU’s first-ever appearance in Morgantown.
Next up, the Mountaineers return to action with a trip to Marshall on Tuesday, March 23, in Huntington, West Virginia. First pitch of the in-state clash is set for 3 p.m. ET.