Kevin Kinder \ BlueGoldNews.com

West Virginia Loses Third In Four-Game Stretch After Hot Streak

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia concluded a five-game road trip with a 4-2 loss in 12 innings at Southeastern Louisiana on Wednesday night, at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field in Hammond, Louisiana.

 

Playing their first extra-inning game of the season, the Mountaineers (7-5) held the Lions (8-4) scoreless for eight consecutive innings before a two-run home run by Taylor Schwaner in the bottom of the 12th inning won it.

 

WVU was held to two runs on seven hits by nine Southeastern pitchers. SLU scored four runs, the first two coming in the third inning, on eight hits. West Virginia committed two errors and stranded seven runners on base, while Southeastern Louisiana had one error and left 10 runners on base.

 

The game featured 28 strikeouts, 13 by WVU pitchers and 15 by SLU.

 

With the help of several solid defensive plays, freshman right-handed starter Isaiah Kearns, senior reliever Jackson Sigman and sophomore reliever Braden Zarbnisky held SLU to two runs on six hits in 11 innings. The trio combined to walk five and strike out 12. Zarbnisky recorded a career-best and game-high six strikeouts.

 

Sophomore designated hitter Marques Inman hit his second home run of the season in the second inning to give the Mountaineers an early 1-0 lead. After SLU took a 2-1 lead in the third, sophomore catcher Ivan Gonzalez drove in WVU’s second run of the day in the fifth.

 

Inman and Gonzalez were two of six Mountaineers with a hit, and freshman center fielder Brandon White led the way with two hits.

 

The Mountaineers got on the board thanks to Inman’s home run in the second inning. The two-out, solo homer was his second of the season and landed in the Southeastern bullpen in left field.

 

Kearns stranded a runner in both the first and second innings before the Lions got on the board in the third with two runs. A two-out walk was followed by an RBI triple and a run-scoring single to give SLU a 2-1 lead.

 

The freshman right-hander settled down to pitch a 1-2-3 fourth inning, and West Virginia’s bats followed with a run in the top of the fifth. Sophomore third baseman Cole Austin led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a throwing error. With two outs, Gonzalez doubled to right center to score Austin.

 

Sigman relieved Kearns with one out in the fifth. He got the next two outs in the inning and proceeded to hold the Lions to just two hits in the next three innings with four strikeouts and one walk.

 

In 4.1 innings, Kearns allowed two runs on three hits with two strikeouts and three walks.

 

Meanwhile, Southeastern retired the Mountaineers in order in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. WVU’s next baserunner would not come until the ninth with two outs, after 12 consecutive outs.

 

West Virginia loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the ninth, which began with a walk and a single. Inman was then hit by a pitch to put the go-ahead run on third base. However, a strikeout ended the inning.

 

Zarbnisky allowed a one-out double in the bottom of the ninth, but got the next two outs to send the game to extra innings.

 

The Mountaineers had a chance to take the lead in the 10th, with back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners with one out, but two strikeouts put the end to the scoring threat.

 

Both teams were retired in order in the 11th before Southeastern’s home run in the 12th won the game.

 

Next up, the Mountaineers conclude their 12-game roadtrip, and a season-opening 16-game stretch away from home, with a series at Old Dominion from March 10-12. The opener is set for 6 p.m. ET, in Norfolk, Virginia, while Saturday’s game begins at 3 p.m. The first pitch of Sunday’s finale will be at 1 p.m. at ODU’s Bud Metheny Baseball Complex.

 

NOTES: WVU falls to 7-5 on the season … The Mountaineers played in their first extra-inning game of the year … Marques Inman hit his second home run of the season and third of his career in the second inning … Reliever Braden Zarbnisky struck out a career-best and game-high six batters in 3.0 innings … Kyle Davis had his team-leading 19th hit of the season … Darius Hill’s career-high and team-leading 13-game hitting streak was snapped, as Hill went hitless for the first time this season.


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