WVU Falls In 10 Innings

Casey Golden's chop single scored Terence Connelly in the bottom of the 10th inning as West Virginia fell to UNC-Wilmington 2-1 on Friday.

The Mountaineers had a chance to win in the 9th inning with one out and runners on first and third, but failed to score when Cam O'Brien struck out and Justin Fox popped to third on a full count. Starter Harrison Musgrave then finished his brilliant outing in the bottom half, retiring UNC-W in order for the sixth time in his nine innings pitched. The left-hander allowed just the one run – and none over the final eight innings – on five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. He threw 74 strikes in 113 pitches while lowering his ERA to 1.98.

Musgrave, who was saddled with a no decision, then gave way to Pascal Paul. The reliever gave up a single and sac bunt to put the winning run on second in pinch runner Andy Austin. After an intentional walk to Connelly, Austin tried to score from second on Josh Abshire's single to right field, only to be thrown out on a rope from Michael Constantini to the plate. But Connelly went from first to third on the play, and scored the game winner on a high chop single that Paul (0-1) couldn't handle off the mound.

The loss, the first of the season for Paul, was the third in as many extra-inning games this season for WVU. The Mountaineers managed just six hits, but did leave six runners on base. UNC-Wilmington had eight hits, but just two off of Musgrave over his final eight innings. Billy Fleming had two hits; no other Mountaineer had more than one. Taylor Munden had the lone WVU RBI. UNC-W's Ryan LeGrange went 2-for-4, while Golden and designated hitter Luke Dunlap recorded RBI.

Starter Mat Batts matched Musgrave pitch for pitch, allowing just the one earned run on four hits and two walks while striking out five in lowering his ERA to 3.89. He threw 115 pitches, 74 for strikes before leaving after the 8th inning. Reliever Kelly Secrest (5-1) pitched the ninth and 10th innings for the win.

The Seahawks (10-10) used three consecutive singles to take a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning. The Mountaineers (11-7) went hitless until the 4th, when Bobby Boyd and Fleming singled before Ryan McBroom fouled out to put runners at the corners with two down. Jacob Rice flied out to center to end the threat.

Musgrave settled after that, holding the Seahawks to just hit over the next five innings while facing just one batter more than the minimum because of a walk. The only other base runner, who reached on a single in the 6th, was negated by double play. Musgrave did face danger in the 7th after Dunlap led off with a single and was replaced by pinch runner Steven Linkous. Scrapping for an insurance run, UNC-W advanced Linkous on a sac bunt before he reached third on a groundout. Musgrave then induced a second consecutive groundout to short stop to end the inning.

West Virginia tied the game in the 8th when catcher Max Nogay walked and advanced to second on a groundout before being replaced by pinch runner Trevor Simms. Head coach Randy Mazey's move paid off when, on a full count, Munden singled to center to score Simms and tie the game at 1-1. Batts finished the inning, but didn't come out for the 9th as Secrest entered.

The loss, just the third for West Virginia in its last 12 games, was the second 2-1, 10-inning defeat for WVU this season (Feb. 22 at San Diego State). The Mountaineers, in their final nonconference weekend series of the season, will start junior right-hander Sean Carley on Saturday. Carley is 3-0 with a 2.78 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 32.1 innings. Sunday's starter is to be determined after normal Sunday starter John Means pitched a complete-game three-hitter in a 5-1 win at No. 12 North Carolina on Thursday. UNC-Wilmington is countering with right-handers Jordan Ramsey (0-1, 3.21 ERA) on Saturday and Nick Monroe (1-1, 2.39 ERA) on Sunday.

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