Kevin Kinder \ BlueGoldNews.com

West Virginia Uses Shaun Corso's RBI Single For 8-7 Victory Over William and Mary

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Shaun Corso's RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning completed a seven-run rally as West Virginia beat William and Mary 8-7 in extra innings here Friday.

West Virginia trailed 7-0 going into the 7th inning, but rallied behind Shaun Wood's three-run homer in that frame and a bases clearing, three-run double by KC Huth in the 8th. That brought the Mountaineers within 7-6, and Corso followed Huth with a run-scoring single to tie the game and set-up his extra-inning heroics in the first game of a doubleheader. 

Every WVU run in the game came with two outs, with Wood's homer set-up by Huth beating out a strikeout on a wild pitch. Corso then walked before Wood hit his third homer of the year to jumpstart the offensive explosion, which included the eight runs on seven hits as the Mountaineers simply continued to win with their seventh straight victory, and 10th in the last 11 games.

Corso, Wood and Huth all came off the bench, as head coach Randy Mazey made wholesale changes after WVU managed just six hits and no runs over the first six innings. It appeared to that point that starter Chad Donato would take his first loss in five outings after giving up seven runs, six earned, through 6.2 innings pitched. The ace was shelled for 11 hits and struggled with control early, and was never able to consistently put the fastball past a solid Tribe line-up which ranked above WVU's own in nearly every statistical category. William and Mary scored five runs with two outs against Donato, and plated runners in four different frames to surge to the 7-0 edge.

West Virginia (29-19), meanwhile, entered as among the hottest teams in the nation, but the cold start on offense - the Mountaineers struggled throughout the order before Wood's three-run homer in the 7th - combined with the uncharacteristically rough outing by Donato seemed to spoil the start of the Friday doubleheader. But four relivers combined over the last 3.1 innings to shut down William and Mary, allowing just three hits as the offense came alive. 

Closer Blake Smith (3-1) pitched the top of the 10th for the win, and Jackson Cramer started the bottom half by reaching on a wild pitch on his strikeout. The throw from the catcher sailed past first base, moving Cramer to second. A sac bunt pushed Cramer to third, and a strikeout and intentional walk brought Corso to the plate. The sophomore laced a 1-1 fastball into right, as Cramer trotted in for the win as the dugout exploded to mob Corso.

West Virginia finished with 13 hits to 14 for William and Mary. Darius Hill and Corso each had two hits, with Corso also reaching twice on walks. Huth and Wood each had three RBI, and Huth and Cramer scored twice. 

Tribe starter Nick Brown went 7.2 innings, allowing the seven runs on 11 hits. Robert White (1-3) took the loss for William and Mary (24-24). The Tribe was led by Charlie Gould, who went 4-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored. The victory sets West Virginia up for a 14th 30-win season in program history with a sweep of the doubleheader.

The current seven-game winning streak is the longest of the season and tied for the second-longest in Mazey's tenure. WVU won eight in a row in 2013, and seven in a row in each of the last two seasons. The Mountaineers are now 27-12 all-time vs W&M, including 14-1 at home. This was the first series meeting since 1968, when both were members of the Southern Conference. 


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