West Virginia earned a commanding win over Morehead State — on the baseball diamond.
The Mountaineer baseball squad paired a strong pitching performance with hot bats to earn a 7-1 victory over the Eagles in Morgantown on Wednesday to open a two-game series at Monongalia County Ballpark.
Although WVU competed over the weekend, individuals are still making their returns to the diamond after the team’s weeklong pause due to COVID-19. Two Mountaineers made their returns at the right time — Hudson Byorick and Paul McIntosh both appeared in the lineup on Tuesday, and with a combined four hits and four runs, they proved to be some of the most consequential players in the batting order.
“Yeah, our team changed quickly, and that’s kind of been our motto for the last week or so,” said acting skipper Steve Sabins. “Hang tight, guys, we’ve got some cavalry coming, the army’s getting stronger, we just gotta keep it together, we’ve gotta get better in the meantime, and I think we have.”
Both of those guys crossed the plate in the third inning after an encore performance by freshman Mikey Kluska, who opened the scoring with a 3-RBI triple in the third inning. WVU scored twice more in that trip after Victor Scott and Dominic Ragazzo both picked up RBI singles.
Byorick and McIntosh both crossed the plate again in the eighth inning, with Byorick running home on a wild pitch and McIntosh rounding a few pitches later on another RBI from Scott.
Ben Hampton (2-0) earned his second win of the season in a 4-inning start. The righty struck out four before he was relieved by Ben Abernathy in the fifth for an inning. Tyler Stretchay chipped in three innings as well, while Tim Wynia closed out the ninth.
Will Lozniak (0-2) earned the loss after lasting 2.2 innings and allowing three earned runs. The mid-week game was decidedly a bullpen game for the Eagles, who trotted out five relievers throughout the contest.
Leadoff hitter Bryce Hensor gave the Eagles their only offensive bright spot with a solo home run over the left field wall.
The Mountaineers and the Eagles take each other on once again on Wednesday at 3 p.m. to round out the two-game stint.