Sam Blancato had four hits and two RBIs to help lead the top of Georgia Souther’s lineup on Saturday to a 6-2 win over West Virginia.
The Eagles scored six straight runs between the third and the sixth innings, capitalizing on the waning arm of WVU starter Blaine Traxel. They sealed the win in the sixth when they notched three runs on a series of Mountaineer bullpen arms.
Traxel (0-1) earned the loss in his WVU debut, giving up three runs (one earned) in five innings of work. He also allowed four hits and struck out one batter in the outing.
Despite the disappointing result, the game started rather positively for the Mountaineers as they recorded an early run on GSU righty Ben Johnson (1-0). The junior righty rallied to earn the win, allowing four hits and striking out seven Mountaineers in five innings.
WVU nearly rallied in the ninth inning starting with freshman catcher Logan Sauve hit an infield single, his first of the career. Sauve later scored on a passed ball to cut WVU’s deficit to four runs.
The Mountaineers drew a pair of walks to load the bases with two outs and bring Kevin Dowdell, the tying run, to the plate. Dowdell worked the count full but struck out swinging.
Blancato and Jesse Sherrill recorded all six of the Eagles’ hits and combined knock in three runs. Beyond that, though, the Eagles got plenty of offense from WVU pitchers as they drew seven walks.
JJ Wetherholt recorded his second straight game with a hit to start the season. Sauve and Tevin Tucker were the only Mountaineers to record two hits, as Tucker went 2 for 3 with a double.
Caleb McNeely recorded his first career RBI by drawing the scoring walk in the first inning.
WVU aims to stave off a season-opening sweep on Sunday when it squares off against the Eagles in the series finale at 1 p.m. ET.