GRANVILLE, W.Va. — West Virginia’s “Mr. Everything” really can do it all, including scoring from second base on a sacrifice fly.
That specific play made the difference in a 9-7 WVU win over Marshall in the 78th meeting on the diamond between the two Mountain State rivals.
With WVU leading 7-5, second baseman JJ Wetherholt led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk. He then stole second to record his Big 12-leading 24th steal of the year.
Then, Braden Barry ripped a fly ball close to the warning track, which was caught by Marshall right fielder Elijah Vogelsong. Wetherholt proceeded to advance 180 feet to score.
That run, which was Wetherholt’s second of the game, ultimately served as the winning tally after Marshall plated a pair of runs in the top of the eighth.
WVU added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, thanks to another contribution from Wetherholt. With runners at first and third, the sophomore was caught stealing second, but stayed alive on the base path long enough to allow Tevin Tucker to score from third.
The Mountaineers hung on to win by that 9-7 score.
Wetherholt went 3-5 at the plate, bringing his nation-leading hits total to 48 for the season.
Left fielder Logan Wallace went 2-3 for WVU, driving in three runs with a bases-clearing triple to conclude a four-run first for the Mountaineers.
Freshman first baseman Sam White also collected his second homer of the season as part of a 2-3 performance at the plate.
Marshall was paced by three RBI from leadoff hitter Luke Edwards, who ranks in the top five in program history in hits. Shortstop Gio Ferraro also drove in a trio of runs to keep the Herd in the contest.
But WVU relief pitcher Carlson Reed struck out five Herd batters in the final two innings to close out the game, earning his second save of the season.
The Mountaineers improved to 53-25 all-time against Marshall. They’ve never lost to the Herd at Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark.
West Virginia (19-6) will open Big 12 play Friday at Kansas State as the two teams begin a three-game series. WVU is the only team in the Big 12 that has yet to play a league game.
Marshall (11-11) will host WVU April 5 at GoMart Ballpark in Charleston.