The weekend nearly started in disaster for Austin Davis, but WVU’s star right fielder turned it into one of the best individual series in the country as he led his team a weekend sweep over Baylor on Sunday.
Davis logged a 3-for-4 day with a double and a home run in the leadoff spot to help West Virginia to a 7-5 win over the Bears at Wagener Field. He finished the weekend with eight hits against the Bears, and finished the finale just a triple away from the cycle.
“I guess I didn’t eat my Wheaties this morning or something,” Davis joked.
The big day started early for Davis as he took Jake Jackson’s first pitch to left field for a single. That started a hot streak for the Mountaineers, who opened the game 6-for-6 from the plate with a sacrifice. That helped give WVU a four-run lead in the first inning.
“We said going into it, after you win the first two games, the way to win game three, which is the hardest game to win after you win the first two, is to come out with aggression and energy and grab a lead,” said WVU coach Randy Mazey. “Usually when you grab a lead in game three when you’re going for a sweep, the other team loses some energy and I think they did.”
Cam Caley took the mound for Baylor in the second inning but suffered a similar fate, as Victor Scott II and McGwire Holbrook each knocked RBI singles to extend WVU’s lead to six runs.
Zach Bravo took the mound for WVU and tossed three perfect innings to open the contest. He began to slip in the fourth, however, when he walked four batters and hit another. In fact, he was credited with all five of Baylor’s earned runs, despite tossing 3.2 innings without allowing a hit. That cut the deficit to just one run with five innings to play.
Baylor logged three hits in the game, two of which came off of freshman reliever Chris Sleeper (2-4). He entered the game in the fifth inning and worked for four full innings, but kept runs off the board to earn the win.
Sleeper’s job got a little easier in the sixth inning when Austin Davis hit a leadoff home run to left field off of Hambleton Oliver, his third homer of the season. Davis finished the series 8-for-11 to bump his batting average to .323 on the season, while adding several defensive highlights to his reel throughout the weekend as well.
“He’s worth the price of a season ticket to come and watch that guy play,” Mazey said. “He’s a great hitter, a great outfielder, he made some unbelievable plays defensively, hit a big homer today and every time he’s on base, he’s thinking about stealing.”
Eight Mountaineers recorded hits in the victory. The only outlier, shortstop Tevin Tucker, reached base in the seventh inning with a walk.
Scott II, Holbrook and Braden Barry each had a pair of hits in four at-bats. Both Scott II and Barry had a double and an RBI in the effort, while Holbrook had a two-RBI day.
Trey Braithwaite recorded his third save of the season for WVU, while Jackson took the loss for Baylor.
Casen Neumann was the only Bear with an extra-base hit, hitting a double in the sixth inning. Jared McKenzie and Alex Gonzales also had hits in the loss.
West Virginia improves to 20-10 overall and records its first Big 12 sweep since the 2016 season. It also holds on to the first place spot in the league with a 5-1 record.
Baylor slips to 16-15 on the season and 2-7 in the Big 12.
WVU next hits the diamond on Tuesday in University Park, Pennsylvania when it faces Penn State. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. ET.