Battered

West Virginia's pitching staff struggled to throw strikes against Morehead State on Tuesday night, but the offense provided plenty of cushion, and received plenty of help from the Eagles, in a 13-5 win in Charleston.

West Virginia (21-17) used a combination of hits, walks and hit batsmen to put up four runs in the bottom of the second, sending nine batters to the plate and chasing staring pitcher Tyler Keele. Jacob Rice led off the inning with a walk, and Ryan McBroom was dinged to put runners on first and second. WVU head coach Randy Mazey then got aggressive, sending the duo on a double steal, and when the throw to second got away, Rice scored and McBroom went to third. Matt Frazer then hit a towering double into the gap in right center to score McBroom.

The inning continued as Alan Filauro got on after getting hit by a pitchn and Bobby Fleming scored Frazer with a single. Justin Fox then loaded the bases with on a fielder's choice, and Tyler Munden accounted for the final run when he grounded into a double play.

Morehead State again helped WVU get on the board in the fourth. With two outs, Justin Fox singled to center and came around to score on Taylor Munden's double, then he in turn scored on a throwing error on a routine grounder to second. The play exhibited the hustle and new attitude exhibited under Mazey. Munden was running from second with two outs, and Mazey had him turning aggressively at third even though the play appeared to be over. But when Eagles second baseman Trey Gross' throw pulled Kane Sweeney off the bag at first, Munden steamed around to score.

Morehead continued to help the WVU scoring parade in the fifth and sixth. Jacob Rice moved into scoring position on an error by the shortstop and scored on a sacrifice fly in the fifth, and two wild pitches and yet another throwing error contributed to two more Mountaineer runs.

Morehead managed to rally in the seventh, scoring four runs to make the game momentarily interesting again by cutting the lead to 9-5. However, the Mountaineers scored two runs in both the seventh and eighth inning to push the lead back to 13-5.

West Virginia needed the productivity to help ease the pressure on a pitching staff that struggled to throw strikes. Starter Brock Dykxhoorn threw 53 pitches in two plus innings of work, and walked two batters in each of the first two innings. He managed to work out of both resulting jams, but when he yielded a pair of leadoff singles in the third, Mazey wasted no time in bringing on Ryan Tezak. The junior struck out Brandon Rawe, then after giving up a walk induced an inning-ending double play to keep the Eagles down by four.

In all, the Mountaineers used seven pitchers in the game, including Taylor Munden, who worked the ninth. None of the pitchers recorded more than two innings of work. The Mountaineer staff combined to walk seven MSU hitters and hit two others, but did strand 12 Eagle baserunners. Mazey wasn't entirely displeased with the effort, noting that WVU got the chance to get a half-dozen pitchers some work without burning anyone out for the weekend.

The Mountaineers scored 13 runs on just seven hits. Rice had two knocks, and Constantini, Fox and Frazer drove in two runs each.

West Virginia returns to Big 12 Conference action this weekend with a three-game series at Texas beginning on Friday.


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