MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia baseball team sent 3,441 fans home happy Friday night as the Mountaineers downed TCU, 5-4, at Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark.
WVU improves to 27-11 and 6-4 in the Big 12 while the Horned Frogs fall to 22-16.
“The atmosphere was great,” said head coach Randy Mazey. “I’ve always said, don’t just come here for the game, come here to help the Mountaineers win, and they sure did tonight. I appreciate everybody who came here and sat in those seats and on the berm. It was very impressive.”
The Mountaineers only had six hits on the night, but two of them went over the fence as junior Landon Wallace hit a two-run home run and freshman Sam White clocked a three-run shot.
On the mound, junior Ben Hampton earned his fourth win of the season 6.0 innings of three-run ball, only two earned, while striking out four. He allowed a run before he allowed a hit, not allowing a base knock until the fifth inning.
Junior Carlson Reed collected his fourth save of the year by throwing 2.2 scoreless innings with four strikeouts.
After a 1-2-3 first inning from Hampton, graduate student Tevin Tucker led off the home half with a walk before Wallace hit his seventh home run of the season, a 440-foot blast to left field.
TCU got a run back in the second with two walks, an error, and a sacrifice fly, but Hampton got a big strikeout to strand two runners on base.
In the fourth, Sam White extended the Mountaineer lead with a three-run home run to right-center, the third of his freshman campaign.
TCU inched back with two runs on a bloop double in the sixth.
In the seventh, the fence jutting in toward the field down the right-field line helped out WVU as a double by the Horned Frogs scored one run, but it came back toward the infield and kept the tying run from scoring.
This also came after Reed picked off a runner at second during the first at-bat of his appearance. Reed then got a strikeout to end the threat and keep the Mountaineers on top.
In the ninth, with the Mountaineers still up one, former Mountaineer Austin Davis came to the plate as the tying run with two outs. Davis, eager to get a big hit, swung at the first pitch and grounded out to Tucker at short to end the game.
The two teams will meet tomorrow afternoon for game two. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.