GRANVILLE, W.Va. — Grant Hussey said Sunday that West Virginia had something to prove against Penn State Tuesday night. WVU dropped a midweek contest two weeks ago to the Nittany Lions on the road, and clearly remembered the feeling.
Sophomore sensation JJ Wetherholt got the power show started with a grand slam in the bottom of the third. An inning later, it was Hussey’s turn to slam the Nittany Lions.
With Hussey and Wetherholt leading the charge, No. 18 West Virginia muscled a trio of home runs over the fences at Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark. The Mountaineers scored double-digit runs for the second time in three days, winning easily 14-2.
Wetherholt’s return to action coming off of his left-hand injury has been nothing short of spectacular. He hit a three-run double in his first at-bat on Sunday. He did even better in his second at-bat of the night on Tuesday.
Batting with the bases loaded, Wetherholt swung at the third pitch of his plate appearance and lined it over the fence in the right-field corner for a grand slam. It was his ninth long ball of the year, momentarily tying him for the team lead.
Wetherholt drove in another run in the next inning. Once again he batted with the bases loaded, though this time he came up roughly 20 feet shot of his second homer of the game. The fly ball was good enough to plate a run and go down as a sacrifice fly.
The Mars, Pennsylvania native finished the night 2-3 at the dish with a game-high five RBI.
West Virginia was just getting started in the frame. A pair of RBI singles by Caleb McNeely and Ellis Garcia extended the Mountaineers’ lead to 8-1.
Hussey then strolled to the plate and, as he so eloquently put it on Sunday, proceeded to “whoop up” on the opposing pitcher. The West Virginia native blasted a 415-foot home run way beyond the outfield wall in right-center field. The four-run blast gave the Mountaineers a dozen runs on the night.
Hussey, once again the team-leader in homers with 10 on the season, finished the game 2-4 at the plate with four RBI.
On the mound, six pitchers combined their efforts in the Mountaineers’ fifth-straight win. Carson Estridge made his second consecutive midweek start, pitching 3.2 innings and giving up just one run on two hits. Fellow freshman Gavin Van Kempen was responsible for the only other run allowed, though he too struck out three hitters during his two innings on the bump.
West Virginia added runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 14-2 lead. Landon Wallace drove in a run in the fifth, and Logan Sauve clubbed his second homer of the season in the bottom of the sixth.
Of note, 3,475 fans attended Tuesday’s contest, marking the sixth-largest crowd for a home game in program history. That tally narrowly edged out the crowd of 3,441 fans who watched WVU beat TCU 5-4 Friday.
West Virginia improves to 30-11 overall, marking its sixth 30-win campaign under head coach Randy Mazey.
Next up, the Big 12-leading Mountaineers head to Waco for a three-game set with last-place Baylor, which begins Friday.