West Virginia Issues Nine Walks, Hits Two In Backyard Brawl Defeat

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia's overall pitching left much to be desired. But starter Michael Grove was the exception, pitching five shutout innings in keeping the Mountaineers in a game they would eventually lose 4-1 to Pitt.

Grove, above, threw the five solid frames, and worked into the sixth inning before being removed after his fourth walk of the game. But the freshman also tallied four strikeouts and was able to work out of a bases loaded jam in the 4th inning, along with three separate innings in which a Pitt runner reached third. Here, the Wheeling, W.Va. native talks about getting the ball in the Brawl against Pitt, and his thoughts on his overall control and approach, as well as what he has learned through two very solid performances; Grove also went five scoreless in the 5-4 extra inning win over Marshall in Charleston, and appears primed for additional midweek starts as the season progresses.

Designated hitter Ivan Vera, below, speaks to the performance of Pitt starter Sam Mersing, who threw six shutout innings while striking out seven and walking just one. The control and ability to keep the fastball low in the zone was a stark contrast to Grove's four walks, and it also limited West Virginia's chances with runners in scoring position. The Mountaineers finished with just five hits, with two by Vera as the freshman also recorded the lone RBI in his first Brawl. Vera also details the experience of the rivalry game, and his expectations this weekend in a Big 12 series against last-place Kansas State.

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