MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Fifth-year senior Blaine Traxel put on a pitching performance for the ages, Saturday afternoon, throwing a complete game in a 5-1 victory for the West Virginia baseball team over Arizona at Hi Corbett Field. The Mountaineers have now won four straight and are now 4-2 while the Wildcats fall to 3-3.
With family making the drive from Burbank, California to be in attendance, Traxel allowed just one run on five hits while striking out six and walking just two in the first complete game for WVU since Jackson Wolf against Texas in the 2021 Big 12 Tournament. For Traxel, it was the sixth complete game of his career, having thrown two as a senior and three as a junior at CSUN.
“All you gotta say is Traxel,” said head coach Randy Mazey. “He was dominant, unbelievable, one of the best-pitched games we’ve had at WVU in a long time. To come out here on the road and do that this early in the season. It was just a great, great pitching performance.”
Traxel only got more dominant as the game went on as he retired 21 of his final 24 batters after allowing a run in the second inning and the last 13 straight he faced in the contest.
He got the run support he needed with two runs in the second, two in the fifth, and finally one more in the seventh. Sophomore JJ Wetherholt led WVU with three hits for the second-straight game while driving in a run and scoring one as well.
Sophomore Grant Hussey gave the Mountaineers the lead in the second with an opposite-field double before coming around to score on a single by Tevin Tucker.
Redshirt-senior Dayne Leonard gave Traxel and the Mountaineers some breathing room in the fifth with a two-run double. Wetherholt tacked on the insurance run in the seventh with a single to center, despite Arizona bringing in a lefty to try to stop the hot-hitting second baseman.
That was more than enough for Traxel as he shut the door with two strikeouts in the ninth, his only inning with multiple punchouts, including one to end the game, slamming the door on the Wildcats.
West Virginia will look for the sweep tomorrow afternoon with first pitch set for 3 p.m. EST.
For more information on the Mountaineers, follow @WVUBaseball on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.