Carley Complete

WVU starting pitcher Sean Carley is the definition of a workhorse, and he demonstrated every bit of the qualities that make up that adjective in a 4-1 win over Baylor on Sunday.

With broad shoulders and a stocky build more befitting that of a linebacker than a baseball player, Carley might be mistaken for a member of another WVU sports team if viewed off the diamond. On the mound, however, it quickly becomes evident that he's in the right spot. The righthander throws hard, battles with bulldog tenacity, and even when he's a bit off target, brings intensity that puts opposing batters out of their comfort zone. He did just that against the Bears, and although he allowed five hits and put two more aboard by hitting them and another with a walk, stared the visitors down in every inning but the third to record the 4-1 win.

With the wind blowing out, Carley kept the ball down for the most part, recording 14 groundouts and not giving Baylor a chance to drive the ball. His only bobble came in the third when a leadoff hit batter came around to score on a groundout and a pair of singles. Over the final six innings, however, he faced just one batter over the minimum, being helped by a pair of West Virginia double plays that erased any thought of a Baylor rally.

While Carley was hurling his gem, WVU (15-8, 2-0) was also fighting an excellent pitcher. Baylor starter Austin Stone came into the game with a 0.97 ERA, while allowing opposing batters a miniscule .162 average. West Virginia got off to a good start against Stone when Bobby Boyd tripled down the left field land and came around to score on Billy Fleming's sacrifice fly, but after that Stone settled into a groove similar to Carley's, setting WVU down over the next four innings with little threat.

Then, just as it did on Friday, the sixth inning yielded Mountaineer fireworks. Boyd again set the table, this time with a walk, and one out later McBroom drove the ball to the deepest part of the park.

"I wasn't sure if it was going out, but I knew I and barrelled it up," the powerful first baseman said of his sixth homer of the season.

That it did, riding the wind and hitting the batters eye over the wall that sits 400 feet distant from home plate to give WVU a 3-1 lead.

The blast apparently rattled Stone, who then made another mistake to Jacob Rice. The lanky leftfield promptly made him pay with a shot to left that cleared the barrier and moved the lead to 4-1. That four-bagger was Rice's first of the year.

West Virginia continued to pressure Stone, putting two more batters on before he was relieved by Doug Ashby. Ashby got a fly ball to end the inning, but at that point the damage was done.

Lingering thoughts of WVU's bullpen struggles from Friday came to the fore over the final three innings, but Carley remained in command. Baylor (13-13, 4-4) got one baserunner on in each of the next three innings, but the Mountaineers turned two double plays to kill the threats. Carley then recorded a 1-2-3 ninth to get the win, moving his record to 5-0 on the season and lowering his ERA to 2.24.

McBroom and Rice had the big blasts for WVU, which also had just five hits. The Mountaineers did hit the ball hard against the Bears, and had at least three shots that would have been hits if not targeted directly at Baylor fielders. Boyd scored two runs for the Mountaineers, while McBroom, Rice and Fleming accounted for the RBIs.

Up next for the Mountaineers is a Tuesday evening trip to Pittsburgh, where WVU will be aiming for a season sweep of the Panthers. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. West Virginia defeated Pitt 6-3 on Mar. 25.


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