After several low scoring, closely contested games with little room for error, West Virginia (29-20) broke through and registered 15 hits and 15 runs in a 15-5 victory over Gardner Webb (22-26) on Saturday afternoon.
The offensive fireworks started early as both teams traded runs in the first and second innings. Gardner Webb scored its first run of the day on a sacrifice fly to deep left with one out, West Virginia got its first on a Kyle Davis line drive that scored Braden Zarbnisky. In the second inning, GWU's Matt Simmons got his first of two RBIs with a double to left field. Jimmy Galusky, who also registered multiple RBIs, knotted the game at two a piece when he scored Darius Hill on a ground out in the bottom half.
Despite a rocky start on the mound, BJ Myers found his footing and allowed just one hit in the third and fourth innings, giving the Mountaineers a chance to capture their first lead of the game. In the bottom of the third that's exactly what they did. Kyle Davis hit a two run triple to deep right field that gave WVU a 4-2 lead. Davis would come home a batter later on a Jackson Cramer ground out that pushed the Mountaineers' lead out to 5-2.
In the top of the fifth the Bulldogs got a run back on a Corey Howard solo shot to deep right field, but the momentum would be short-lived as the Mountaineers blew the game open in the bottom half. After Gonzalez and Zarbnisky reached on a single and a walk, Kyle Davis got his third hit of the day on a liner past second base that brought home West Virginia's sixth run. After a Jackson Cramer walk, Darius Hill brought home a run on a ground out. Shortly thereafter, Jimmy Galusky came to the plate with two outs and beat out a throw to first after hitting a grounder, a hustle play gave WVU a 9-3 lead.
Despite the big inning, the Bulldogs were resilient and led off the sixth inning with three straight hits and cut the lead to five on a Justin Kunz single to right field. Two batters later Matt Simmons brought home another run to cut the lead to 9-5. That single ended the day for starter BJ Myers (4-2, 4.19 ERA), who allowed five earned runs on 11 hits through 5.1 innings of work but still earned his fourth win of the year.
West Virginia got both runs back in the sixth, however, when Jackson Cramer and Darius Hill hit a pair of RBI singles that brought home Ivan Gonzalez and Kyle Davis. The runs gave West Virginia an 11-5 lead and ended virtually any chance of a Gardner Webb comeback.
The Mountaineers added on to the lead in the seventh when Kyle Davis earned his fifth RBI of the game on a sacrifice fly that reached the warning track in deep left center. In the eighth, WVU got its final three runs on a RBI single by chase Illig and a two run blast by Andrew Zitel a batter later. The homer was a career first for Zitel and gave West Virginia its 14th and 15th runs of the game to close out the offensive explosion.
With the win West Virginia's record now stands at 29-20. WVU will have an opportunity to get to 10 games over .500 tomorrow afternoon when it goes for the sweep over the Bulldogs.