West Virginia Uses Hot Start, Then Staves Off Virginia Tech Rally In Securing Fifth Win In Six Games

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Starter Braden Zarbnisky pitched four shutout innings in staking West Virginia to an early 4-0 lead anchored by Jackson Cramer's sixth home run of the season. Here, the two dissect the 5-4 win over Virginia Tech, and look ahead to a key Big 12 home match-up versus Texas this weekend.

Cramer, above, his his sixth home run of the season, a long solo shot that put WVU ahead 4-0 before Virginia tech rallied with four combined runs in the 6th and 7th innings to get within the 5-4 final margin. Cramer details his recent success at the plate, and his ability to get out of an early hole that had his average down below the .200 mark for much of the season. The first baseman is now batting .277, and seems settled in the middle of the line-up after the pressure of the clean-up sot dropped him down to fifth for a few games.

Cramer also details the quality of the starting pitching, and looks ahead to a huge home series against Texas, which sits a half game ahead of the Mountaineers in the Big 12 standings in fourth. A series win would vault West Virginia into sole possession of fourth entering the final two weekend series of the season, just one of which is in Big 112 play - that coming against first place Texas Tech on the road from May 19-21. Thus, it's likely that for WVU to finish within the top four, they must at least take two of three from UT this weekend.

Starting pitcher Braden Zarbnisky, who made his third straight start after working out of the bullpen for much of the season, was able to scatter three hits over four innings in another solid outing that eventually earned him the win. The freshman, now 2-0 on the season, had three strikeouts against just one walk in controlling a struggling Hokies' offense. Zarbnisky notes that he could have pitched farther into the game, but that the coaching staff wanted to save his arm for the weekend against the Longhorns. The right-hander also breaks down his curve ball, and his ability to throw it for strikes in any count against Virginia Tech.

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