West Virginia served Pittsburgh up with a nice platter of runs as the Mountaineers took a revenge victory over their 17th-ranked arch rivals 8-2 at Monongalia County Ballpark on Wednesday.
The Mountaineer offense was rolling throughout the 202nd all-time meeting between the clubs, tallying a total of 15 hits — the team’s second-highest total of the season, and the most since WVU poked 16 hits against Bryant on Feb. 28. This was facilitated by starting pitcher Carlson Reed, who earned the win after struggling in the first meeting this season in April.
“It doesn’t matter as much as who Reed is pitching against, as it does how he handles himself while he’s pitching,” said WVU coach Randy Mazey. “It could be Pitt, it could be Texas, it could be anybody, if Reed does what he’s supposed to do and not let the little things get to him while he’s out there…it’s not near as much about the opponent as it is about him.”
Reed (2-4) gave the Mountaineers 5.2 innings of work, allowing an earned run on four hits with six strikeouts. His job was made easier by an early injection of West Virginia offense as the Mountaineer offense took the lead and never gave it up.
Hudson Byorick was the first to send a runner across the plate in the first inning with a triple, scoring Matt McCormick to open the scoring for the contest. Mikey Kluska added an RBI groundout in the second to bring Alec Burns home.
WVU widened its lead in the fourth after getting to Pitt starter Stephen Hansen, who eventually walked the bases loaded. That set up an RBI single from Tyler Doanes off reliever Chase Smith, followed by another walk to get the Mountaineer lead to four.
Hansen (1-3)took the loss after giving up four earned runs on five hits.
David Yanni got Pitt’s first score on the board with an RBI double in the sixth. WVU’s Paul McIntosh, however, made sure to answer in the bottom of the inning with a three-run home run that banged off the scoreboard in left center field, capping off WVU’s scoring for the night.
“It was one of the balls I’d been trying to hit all day,” McIntosh said. “I barreled that one off and knew immediately.”
A total of six Mountaineers – Byorick, Austin Davis, Nathan Blasick, Alec Burns, Victor Scott and Tyler Doanes — had multi-hit games, with Blasick and Doanes each notching a trio of hits on the night. Scott added an RBI in the fifth, while McIntosh’s dinger accounted for all three of his RBIs.
WVU called on just two men out of the bullpen, as Skyler Gonzalez and Madison Jeffrey combined to finish the last 3.1 innings. Gonzalez gave up three hits and an earned run, while Jeffrey got the save with four strikeouts.
Yanni’s two hits comprised the only multi-hit performance for the Panthers.
The victory improves WVU’s lead in the all-time series to 110-92, as the Mountaineers have won seven of the last eight meetings between the two programs dating back to 2016. The victory also snaps a five-game losing skid for the Mountaineers before they prepare for a return to Big 12 play over the weekend.
“Our guys see how the crowds get into these games, and that fuels our guys a little bit to see the crowds really into it,” Mazey said.
The Mountaineers will host Oklahoma starting Friday at 6:30 p.m. in the first of a three-game series. All three contests will be shown on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.