Troy Taormina

Guerrini Homers Twice As The Mountaineers Pounded Out Nine Extra Base Hits

Tanner Campbell worked into the fifth inning in his first career start and Ray Guerrini hit a pair of home runs as West Virginia gained a series split at Hawaii with a 9-2 win on Sunday.

Campbell set down the side in order in three different frames while retiring 12 of his first 14 batters faced, and appeared in line for a win until the fifth inning. The lone jam came then, when the true freshman left with the bases loaded and a 4-1 lead. Reliever Connor Dotson got the final two outs - he allowed one more run on an RBI ground out -  as WVU led 4-2 to that point.

Both right-handers got plenty of offensive support, West Virginia scoring single runs in each of the first four innings to give it a solid cushion. Guerrini went 3-for-4, hitting home runs in the second and eighth innings, and freshmen Darius Hill and Cole Austin again triggered the attack from atop the line-up.

Austin's RBI single to left field plated Hill after his double in the first inning, and Guerrini then homered in the second to make it 2-0. Consecutive doubles by Austin and Jackson Cramer scored another run in the third inning, and that finished Hawaii starter Josh Pigg, who completed the frame, but was pulled after allowing three runs and four extra base hits over 15 batters faced.

The right-hander left with a 3-0 deficit, and the pattern continued against reliever Lawrence Chew as the Mountaineers again scored one run when Guerrini doubled down the left field line and scored on a Kyle Davis single. 

Campbell was cruising to that point, shutting out the Warriors and protecting the 4-0 lead by pounding the strike zone and retiring 12 of the first 14 batters he faced, including nine in a row over the 2nd, 3rd and 4th innings. But he ran into trouble in the fifth, allowing two singles, a balk, a hit by pitch and a walk before being pulled with a 4-1 lead and bases loaded. Dotson limited Hawaii to just one more run, and the Mountaineer offense padded the lead with three more runs in the seventh inning. Hill had a two-run double and then later scored after a wild pitch and gthrowing error. Guerrini homered in the next inning, and the Mountaineers added a final run in the ninth for the 9-2 win.

Hill and Guerrini both had three hits, with three runs scored and two RBI apiece. Austin was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, and Jimmy Galusky and Hill both tripled as part of nine extra base hits for West Virginia (7-3). Hawaii (6-7) managed just six hits and three different batters struck out twice. 

Dotson (2-0) pitched through the seventh inning, and picked up the win. Pigg (0-2) took the loss for the Warriors. The teams split the four-game set, Hawaii winning the first and third games while WVU took the second and fourth. The series concluded an 11-game road trip to open the season; one game was an exhibition against MLB's Arizona Diamondbacks.

Notes: Sophomore Kyle Davis and extended his hitting streak to a team-high eight games; he has reached base in 28 consecutive games, the second-longest active streak on the team … With an RBI double, junior Jackson Cramer has reached base in a career-best 30 consecutive games. West Virginia opens its 30-game home schedule on Friday against Old Dominion. First pitch is at 3 p.m.


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