West Virginia Completes Sweep, Retains League Lead

It was the perfect situation for a letdown for the homestanding WVU Mountaineers.

WVU was coming off a sweep that clinched a spot in the Big East Tournament, and on a cold and dreary day that saw a two hour rain delay seemed to be a bit lethargic in their early play.

Their opponents, Villanova, showed no such doldrums, and jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first and doubled that margin with a solo home run in the top of the fourth.

However, this Mountaineer team, as they have done all season, again battled back, and on a day when they did not play their best baseball still managed an 11-6 win, giving them a sweep of the Wildcats.

Mountaineer starter Zac Cline (10-3) didn't have his best stuff, but still twirled yet another complete game, his eighth of the season, in pushing his innings pitched total over the 100 mark.

Cline allowed six runs on 13 hits and stranded seven Wildcat baserunners. He struck out seven while walking only two.

Cline has now pitched 107 2/3 innings this year, leaving him just two innings short of the West Virginia single season record.

After Villanova's first inning run, things were quiet until the fourth, when an outburst of scoring occurred. First, Villanova doubled their lead on the strength of a just-fair home run down the left field line, but Mountaineer pitcher Zac Cline escaped further trouble by getting an inning ending double play. WVU then got on the board in a big way as Jake Serfass pounded a mammoth three run homer to straightaway centerfield to give WVU a 3-2 lead.

WVU added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, courtesy of Kurtis Clinton's two run homer, but the Wildcats again attemped to make a game of it, as a two run homer closed the gap to 5-4 in the top of the seventh.

WVU went right back to work in the bottom of the seventh, scoring three runs to again give Cline some breathing room. Grant Psomas scored on a sacrifice, Eric Grimm laid down a suicide squeeze to score Travis D'Amico and Lee Fritz added a solo home run, the first of his career, to make the margin 8-4. The home run was WVU's 69th of the year, tying the Mountaineer all-time single season record.

The Mountaineers continued to pound the ball in the next inning, as Stan Posluszny stroked a two run double to drive in Serfass and Clinton, which gave the Mountaineers a 10-4 cushion. Posluszny then scored on a Jarod Rine infield single and West Virginia was comfortably in front at 11-4.

Villanova, to their credit did not go easily. They added a two run homer in the bottom of the ninth, and put two more runners aboard, but could not come any closer as Cline battled out of trouble again to nail down the win.

Seven of the nine Mountaineer batters had two hits in the contest, as WVU again showed their consistency up and down the batting order.

WVU next faces Kent State in a non-conference contest before closing out the regular season with a three game series at Boston College next weekend.

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