Kevin Kinder \ BlueGoldNews.com

West Virginia Gets Stellar Pitching, Late Runs to Down Ball State

One test of a good team is its ability to win in different manners. If the results of the last two days are any indication, West Virginia's baseball team has that quality.

On Saturday, West Virginia's baseball team bashed 29 hits on the way to a blowout win over defending national champion Coastal Carolina. One day later, they got 25 fewer, but still managed to manufacture four runs and rode an outstanding pitching performance for a 4-1 win over Ball State

While getting no-hit into the seventh inning, the Mountaineers (4-2) and Cardinals (4-3) were locked in a pitcher’s duel, with just three total hits through seven innings.  Sophomore right fielder Darius Hill hit his second home run in as many days in the eighth inning gave WVU a 2-1 lead, and a pair of wild pitches in the ninth brought home two WVU insurance runs.

The win was West Virginia’s fourth in a row and third at this weekend’s Caravelle Resort Tournament, in Myrtle Beach, S. C. WVU had four hits and gave up just two.

The Mountaineers used a strong start by freshman right-hander Carter Camp. Making just his second career appearance and first start, Camp pitched 5.0 innings and allowed one run on two hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. After a first-inning triple and RBI-groundout, Camp allowed just one baserunner and pitched three 1-2-3 innings in his final four frames. His seven strikeouts is tied for the most by a Mountaineer this season.

Sophomore righty Braden Zarbnisky picked up where Camp left off, throwing 3.0 no-hit innings, striking out five and walking one. Camp and Zarbnisky combined to retire 24 of 27 batters faced in 8.0 innings pitched. Zarbnisky earned his first win of the season. Freshman Alek Manoah pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his first career save.

Offensively, sophomore Marques Inman recorded WVU’s first hit with one out in the seventh inning. While he was stranded on first, it opened things up for the Mountaineers in the eighth. Junior left fielder Kyle Davis singled with two outs before Hill’s home run. His second homer of the season just cleared the wall in right field, glancing off the end of the Ball State right-fielder’s outstretched glove.

After three Ball State runners reached and two were stranded in the bottom of the eighth, the Mountaineers added two insurance runs in the ninth. Sophomore third baseman Cole Austin led off the inning with a single and was sacrificed to second by Inman. He reached third on a wild pitch on an intentional walk to freshman second baseman TJ Lake. With Lake on first, another wild pitch followed, as Austin scored and Lake reached third. After sophomore shortstop Jimmy Galusky walked, the inning’s third wild pitch scored Lake.

Ball State’s lone run came in the first inning. Seth Freed hit a one-out triple down the right-field line and scored on a groundout to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. It was an advantage they would hold until Hill’s home run in the eighth inning.

The Caravelle Resort Tournament concludes at No. 18 Coastal Carolina on Monday at noon. Live stats will be available, while Coastal Carolina will have an online audio broadcast. Links to live stats and audio are available on the baseball schedule page on WVUsports.com. Additional behind-the-scenes updates and notes from Myrtle Beach can be found on social media by following and connecting with the team at @WVUBaseball on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

NOTES: West Virginia has won four in a row and improves to 4-2 on the season … WVU improves to 2-0 all-time against Ball State … WVU’s four hits and two hits allowed were both season-lows … The pitching staff had a season-best 12 strikeouts, including a career-high seven by Carter Camp, tied for the most by a WVU pitcher this season … Starter Carter Camp pitched in his second career game and made his first career start, pitching 5.0 innings and allowing one run on two hits with seven strikeouts and no walks … Braden Zarbnisky earned his first win of the season with 3.0 innings in relief, allowing no runs on no hits with five strikeouts and a walk … Alek Manoah earned his first save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning … Darius Hill hit his second home run in as many games, his second of the season and fifth of his career … Hill has at least one hit in each of WVU’s first six games and has two or more RBIs in four games in 2017.


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