Ross Vance Threw Five Shutout Innings As West Virginia Beat Charleston Southern 5-0 On Saturday.

Ross Vance pitched five shutout innings and Ray Guerrini hit a key two-run double as West Virginia beat Charleston Southern 5-0 on Saturday to even the series.

Vance scattered four hits and stranded five in a methodical outing as he returned from offseason hip surgery. The crafty left-hander was in trouble just once, when he allowed a runner to advance to second on a failed pick-off attempt in the fifth inning. But after a single put runners at the corners, Vance picked off the runner at first, then induced a ground out to end the threat and maintain the shutout.

Unlike in the opening-day loss, West Virginia's offense backed the stellar effort, pounding CSU starter Daniel Johnson for five runs, all earned, over 5.2 innings. The big blows came in a four-run fourth, when WVU loaded the bases for Guerrini, who promptly lined a single to left field for a 2-0 lead. That left two runners in scoring position with no outs, and two batters later KC Huth broke the game open with the most unlikely of plays.

The centerfielder's sac bunt to the pitcher scored Caleb Potter from third and, shockingly, Guerrini from second when the throw home was late. The play was an example of Randy Mazey's philosophy change in the offseason, when the head coach opted to utilize aggressive base running and more "small ball" tactics rather than depend upon the home run.

Guerrini went 2-for-3 with the two RBI, while Potter also had two hits and scored twice. Designated hitter Shaun Corso and shortstop Jimmy Galusky both went 2-for-4, with Galusky getting the first hit of his college career on a double in the fourth inning.

West Virginia (1-1) finished with nine hits in all, including a long ball when Potter led off the sixth with a solo shot to left for the 5-0 lead. It was Potter's first of the young season, and it signaled the end for Johnson, who gave up a single and a double around a line out before being pulled. 

The Mountaineers couldn't capitalize on the two-on, two-out situation, though, as leadoff hitter Kyle Davis flied out to center. It hardly mattered, as WVU's Brandon Boone allowed just one hit in three scoreless innings of relief. Freshman Michael Grove, a Wheeling native, sealed the with win a strikeout and double play in the ninth.

Johnson (0-1) struggled up on the zone and finished allowing three doubles and a home run while striking out six and walking three.

Charleston Southern, which took advantage of every scoring situation it had in the opening 4-3 win, had just five hits while stranding six. CSU never figured out Vance (1-0), as the senior used solid control and a mix of offspeed pitches to keep the Bucs at bay. He walked just one, and allowed only one extra base hit, a double, in 20 batters faced.

First baseman Bryan Dye, who had a pair of singles, was the only multi-hit player for Charleston Southern as it was shutout for the second time in three series games while dropping to 5-10 all-time versus West Virginia. WVU is 4-1 against CSU under Mazey, who coached the Buccaneers from 1994-96 -- including current Southern head coach Stuart Lake. The series concludes Sunday at 10 a.m. Sophomore right-hander B.J. Myers (2-5, 3.82 ERA in 2015) gets the start for the Mountaineers. CSU (1-1) counters with senior right-hander Jon Piriz.


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