Cramer was again excellent, crushing a ball well over the left center wall in his first at-bat for a team-best 8th homer run and adding an RBI triple in the 3rd inning as the Mountaineers took an early 4-2 lead, then scored the deciding run in the 7th inning on Ray Guerrini's single to plate Kyle Davis.
Cramer, the two-time defending Big 12 Player of the Week, was hitting just .230 when WVU was sitting at 19-18 before winning eight in a row and 11 of 12. Now, the clean-up hitter is at .310, having spurred an offensive explosion in which the Mountaineers have scored at least nine runs in eight of the games. Cramer has been a major part of that, batting .537 over the stretch, with three homers, two triples and 20 RBI - which represents one-fifth of the Mountaineer offense.
Cramer went 2-for-3 in this game, with his best hit being a rocket shot into rightfield that was tracked down. That came after the homer and triple, and before William and Mary chose to avoid him entirely in his last at-bat via an intentional walk. Cramer now has a team-high 37 RBI.
Ross Vance struggled through another subpar start, getting through just five full frames before giving way to the bullpen. The southpaw allowed six earned runs on seven hits while striking out eight. He didn't walk a batter, but allowed two doubles and two homers. Three relievers combined to close against the Tribe, including Blake Smith. The senior pitched the 9th for his eighth save of the season, and also picked up the win in relief in the opening-game victory over William and Mary.
Unlike in game one, when West Virginia (30-19) rallied from a late 7-0 deficit, the Mountaineers were able to keep pace throughout, pounding out 10 hits to eight for the Tribe as the teams each scored six runs over the first six innings to take a tie game into the 7th. That's when Davis reached on a walk and was sacrificed to second on a bunt before coming around on Guerrini's single up the middle for his 22nd RBI of the season to secure WVU's 14th 30-win season in program history. The eight straight wins tie for the longest streak in the four-year tenure under head coach Randy Mazey, and kept West Virginia within a long shot of making the NCAA Tournament.
Davis went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI, while four other Mountaineers also recorded hits. William and Mary (24-25) dropped below .500 with the loss, its third in the last four games. Designated hitter Hunter Smith went 2-for-3 with two runs scored for the Tribe, while leadoff hitter Ryan Hall and rightfielder Charles Ameer - who struck out four times in the first game of the twinbill - had two RBI.
West Virginia won the first game 8-7 in 10 innings on a Shaun Corso RBI single. The Mountaineers trailed 7-0 entering the 7th inning, but scored three in that frame and four in the 8th - all with two outs - to tie, then won it in extras. That kept the streak alive at seven games and 10 of 11.
The rally was keyed by Shaun Wood's three-run homer in that 7th inning and a bases clearing, three-run double by KC Huth in the 8th. That brought the Mountaineers within 7-6, and Corso followed KC Huth with a run-scoring single to tie the game and set-up his extra-inning heroics.
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 over the final four frames.
The two teams have a day off for graduation on Saturday before the series continues Sunday at 1 p.m. It is the home finale', and Senior Day as Vance, Blake Smith, Huth and Jeff Hardy will be honored. WVU will start right-hander Connor Dotson (5-4, 5.35 ERA) against Tribe righty Daniel Powers (7-3, 4.48 ERA).