West Virginia Beats Eastern Michigan Despite Lack of Timely Hitting

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Tanner Campbell allowed one hit over five innings and Marques Inman hit two doubles for a pair of RBI as West Virginia beat Eastern Michigan 5-1 here Wednesday.

Campbell (2-1) was nearly flawless against the overmatched Eagles, retiring 12 in a row at one point before allowing Max Schuemann's single up the middle to break up the no-hitter with two outs in the fifth inning. Campbell faced just 17 batters, two over the minimum, while striking out two and walking a pair.

The freshman had ample offensive support, but not nearly as much as he could have. WVU led 4-0 after the five innings, and got the leadoff hitter on in every frame to that point, but stranded eight in spoiling multiple chances. The Mountaineers were just 2-of-13 with runners on, 2-of-12 with them in scoring position over the first five innings, and it left them open to a rally from a better offensive team.

But Campbell and four relievers held Eastern Michigan to just three hits in all, as the Eagles moved just one runner into scoring position over the first six innings. By then, it was 5-0, and the game was essentially over as WVU's pitching continued to overwhelm a club which has scored four or fewer runs in 17 of 27 games this season.

Besides Inman's two hits and two RBI, Darius Hill continued to stay hot, going 2-for-4 with two RBI, a double, a run scored and a walk. KC Huth had an RBI and a run scored, while four others also recorded hits for West Virginia (16-11).

It all added to a solid - and badly-needed - midweek win, but one much closer than it should have been against EMU starter Austin Wilson. WVU established its pattern early, as Hill's RBI single in the 1st inning scored Kyle Davis, and a walk set-up Jackson Cramer with two on and one out. But Cramer hit into a double play to end the threat. The Mountaineers then erased the leadoff runner in the 2nd inning with another double play, and threatened to do the same after loading the bases in the 3rd inning before Inman's two-RBI double down the line. 

The looping shot trailed away from the fielder and dropped inside the line to score a pair of runs for a 3-0 game. Consecutive walks then again loaded the bases before Cole Austin lined out to second to strand three more runners. 

WVU did manage to squeeze another run across in the 4th on Huth's RBI foul out to deep left with runners at the corners, his third at-bat of the game with runners in scoring position. But it went empty handed again in the 5th, when two walks around a double loaded the bases with two outs for Jimmy Galusky. The nine-hitter struck out, and the Mountaineers added on to the left ons, pushing it to eight. 

Hill's RBI double in the 6th inning made it 5-0, and West Virginia managed to make timely outs from there. The serious threats came when Eastern Michigan (12-16) loaded the bases in the 7th inning and scored on a double play ball before Jackson Sigman struck out Schuemann looking with a runner on third. The Eagles loaded the bases again in the 8th inning via three walks in five hitters by Brandon Boone before the right-hander induced a hard ground ball up the middle. Galusky made a diving stop and threw out clean-up hitter Mike Mioduszewski by a half step. Mioduszewski represented the tying run.

Eastern Michigan had three hits, led by Mitchell McGeein, who finished with a single, a run scored and two walks. Wilson (1-2) pitched just 2.2 innings in his start, giving way after Inman's double and a walk. The senior allowed three runs, all earned, before EMU used four relievers to finish. West Virginia left 10 runners in all, and hit .111 with runners in scoring position. Cramer reached base on a walk, his 47th straight game getting on. Jeff Hardy pitched the final 1.1 innings for the save, his second of the season.

WVU improved to 13-4 all-time vs Eastern Michigan. It was the first contest of a nine-game homestand for the Mountaineers. The stand comes on the back of five home games in six, the lone game outside Mon County Ballpark coming Tuesday in the 5-4 win vs Marshall in Charleston. In all, West Virginia plays 26 home games in 30 outings between March 29 and May 15, a span of 48 days. The home series versus Furman begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. Chad Donato (1-2, 3.09 ERA) is expected to start.

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