Tuntland, Filauro Pace WVU in Slugfest

Ryan Tuntland continued his hot hitting streak and Alan Filauro tied a career high with four hits as West Virginia downed Eastern Kentucky 16-9 on Tuesday.

The game was the polar opposite of the two teams' prior meeting this year, when the Mountaineers eked out a 2-1 win on the strength of a two-run homer. WVU matched its run production from that game in the second inning, and quickly surpassed it with six more runs over the next two innings.

Filauro got West Virginia (11-13) off to a good start as he paired with designated hitter Justin Fox for a pair of RBI to give the Mountaineers a 2-0 lead. The duo again provided run-scoring hits in the third, which was part of a four-run uprising, but EKU bounced back in the bottom of the inning on Shaun Bell's three run homer.

The Mountaineers again resxponded with two more runs in the fourth courtesy of Ryan McBroom's bases-loaded double, but the Colonels added a run of their own in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 8-4.Two innings later, they narrowed the gap further with two more runs to close the gap to 8-6.

WVU added one run in the top of the seventh, then exploded for five in the next inning to push their advantage to 14-6.

Filauro and Tuntland again figured prominently, with the catcher plating two runs on a single and Tuntland contributing an RBI double, one of his two on the day. West Virginia batted around in the inning.

To its credit, EKU didn't give up, lacing a pair of triples and scoring two runs in the eighth, but left fielder Matt Frazer countered that effort with a two-run homer in the top of the ninth, his fifth of the season. EKU scraped up another run in its last at-bat to make the final score 16-7.

Every Mountaineer starter got in on the offensive parade, with all getting at least one hit and eight scoring at least once. WVU had seven extra-base hits out of its 16 total safeties. Filauro lead the production parade with four RBI, while Fox added three. McBroom, Tuntland and Frazer each added two. Tuntland is now second on the team with a .375 average, trailing Jacob Rice (.379). Frazer leads the team in home runs (five) and RBI (21). West Virginia is now hitting .297 as a team on the season.

It wasn't a stellar day on the mound for the four West Virginia pitchers, all of whom allowed at least two hits and four baserunners each. Starter Tad Dipzinski had control problems, giving up five walks in 2 1/3 innings. Ryan Tezak (1-0) recorded his first win of the season in relief of Dipzinski. He pitched 4 2/3 innings, and allowed two earned runs while striking out three batters.

EKU Starter Cameron Langels was tagged with the loss, as he yielded six runs in three innings or work. WVU also roughed up reliever Cody Matt Lynch for six runs in 1 1/3 innings of action.

West Virginia opens its longest single-location homestand of the season on Thursday against New Orleans in Morgantown. The Mountaineers face UNO four times through Sunday, then host Marshall on Tuesday, Apr. 2 in the second game of a three-game in-state series.

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