Donato Throws Shutout As WVU Sweeps

Chad Donato threw a complete game shutout and West Virginia pounded out eight hits in an 8-0 win over Charleston Southern for the series sweep on Sunday.

Donato continually got ahead in counts and pounded the zone, keeping the Buccaneers at bay as WVU won its sixth straight for the first time since a seven-game streak last season. The right-hander allowed just five hits while striking out four with no walks in his first career complete game; he never faced any more than four batters in any frame until the ninth inning.

Donato, who threw eight innings in a win last Sunday at Baylor, ranks third nationally in fewest walks per nine innings at 0.23 and is fourth in strikeout-to-walk ratio. He threw 73 strikes on 101 total pitches and faced just 32 batters, five above the minimum. Donato, who entered this season having thrown just three career innings, lowers his staff-leading ERA to 1.26 and now has 27 strikeouts to one walk on the season.

The Mountaineers, as they had done in the previous two games, backed Donato (4-3) with plenty of offense as five players recorded a hit. Shaun Wood and Kyle Davis had two hits each, with Wood going 2-for-3 with one RBI and three runs scored as he continued to elevate his average after a poor start. Wood hit his fourth homer run of the season to put WVU up 6-0 in the fifth inning. Davis had two singles as the freshman now leads the team with a .359 average.

Brad Johnson had a two-RBI double in the first inning as the Mountaineers opened an early lead. It was the lone extra base hit for West Virginia, which scored at least six runs every game in the streak while clinching its second consecutive nonconference series sweep. The Mountaineers have averaged more than nine runs per game over the six-game winning streak.

WVU (15-10) led 5-0 after four innings, scoring three in the fourth after CSU starter Kyle McDorman opened the frame with a pair of walks. Second baseman Nate Blanchard then threw away Cam O’Brien’s groundout to second, scoring Wood and putting Ray Guerrini at third while O’Brien advanced to second for a 3-0 lead. A sac fly by Caleb Porter and Shaun Corso’s RBI single pushed the lead to 5-0, and chased McDorman after just 3.1 innings. The senior gave up five runs, with two earned, in issuing three walks and two hit by pitches while striking out four.

Johnson gave WVU a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a double to center for his 20th and 21st RBI of the season, good for second-best behind Wood. Johnson ripped a 2-1 fastball in the right-center gap, scoring Munden and Fox after both were hit by pitches and advanced on a wild pitch as McDorman (1-3) struggled early. Wood made it 6-0 in the fifth inning with a solo shot to right field. It was his fourth homer of the season, and his 23rd RBI. He also stole a base.

WVU added two more runs in the eighth on Corso’s double to left, giving the freshman a game-high three RBI out of the nine slot. The Mountaineers, with the games secured, scored 12 runs on Charleston Southern in the eighth inning during the series.

Charleston Southern (12-14) has lost four of five and eight of its last 10 games. The Buccaneers scored just four runs against WVU in the series and now trail the Mountaineers 9-4 in the all-time series. West Virginia plays a Tuesday game at rival Pitt at 6 p.m. before a weekend Big 12 road series at Kansas State.

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