WVU’s rolling offense and Hampton’s career day lift Mountaineers over Baylor

Gold and Blue Nation

West Virginia baseball’s bats were going on Sunday as the Mountaineers snapped its five-game skid with an 8-4 victory over Baylor at Baylor Ballpark in Waco, Texas.

The Mountaineers stormed in front in the fifth and sixth innings, putting up six runs on six hits in that span before adding a pair of subsequent insurance runs. That was too much for Baylor, who scored two runs in the first and built a three-run lead before the rally.

Tyler Doanes was the first to put runs across the plate when he singled in the fifth to send home Matt McCormick and Vince Ippoliti. Two at-bats later, Victor Scott put WVU’s third run on the board with a sac fly, scoring Kevin Brophy.

Vince Ippoliti kept the offense going when he drove Paul McIntosh home with an RBI single, setting up a two-run homer for McCormick on the next at-bat.

Ippoliti closed out what was a stellar individual series with another strong outing. The redshirt junior went 2-for-2 with two HBPs and two RBIs, finishing the Waco trip 5-for-7 with a trio of walks and a pair of HBPs.

McCormick also had a multi-hit game, logging two hits in five at-bats with a pair of RBIs. Doanes had a 2-RBI day off his single as well.

Tre Richardson drove home a pair of RBIs for Baylor, the first of which on a first-inning sac fly, then another in the eighth inning off a triple. Jared McKenzie was the only Bear to snag multiple hits on his 2-for-4 day, while crossing the plate twice in the afternoon.

The Mountaineers got a career outing from freshman lefty Ben Hampton (3-0), who put in 6.2 innings of work and gave up three earned runs on four hits, while striking out four. That inning total and his pitch count of 72 are both season- and career-highs, while earning his third win in six appearances.

Noah Short took the rubber in the seventh inning to finish out the contest, allowing two hits and a run while striking out two and walking one.

Hayden Kettler (3-2) took the loss for Baylor in his 5.0-inning outing. The senior righty had one of his toughest showings so far this season, allowing six runs (four of which were earned) off seven hits, with five strikeouts. Baylor skipper Steve Rodriguez handed the ball to Hambleton Oliver in the seventh inning, the first of a bullpen quartet as the Bears attempted to slow down WVU’s offense.

The victory keeps West Virginia ahead of Baylor in the Big 12 standings with a 4-5 Big 12 record, while the Bears fall to 3-6. Overall, the two ball clubs are 12-14 and 21-11, respectively.

For WVU head coach Randy Mazey, the win is a major career milestone — he has officially reached 250 wins as the Mountaineer skipper, while holding 437 victories in 15 seasons as a Division I baseball coach.

West Virginia heads home for a midweek game against rival Marshall on Wednesday at Monongalia County Ballpark. The Mountaineers are looking for revenge after taking a 7-1 loss to the Thundering Herd on March 23.

First pitch in that contest is set for 6:30 p.m., and it will be shown on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

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