Mountaineers Batter, Sweep Bonnies

WVU improved to 8-10 on the year with a 10-3 win over St. Bonaventure at Hawley Field on Wednesday, giving the Mountaineers some much-needed momentum as the prepare to host Notre Dame for a three-game weekend set to open the Big East conference season.

WVU again got another strong pitching performance from a freshman, this time from Levi Maxwell, who struck out eight batters in eight solid innings of work. Maxwell yielded just three runs (two earned) and walked only one Bonnie hitter.

The Bonnies got the jump in the contest as they loaded the bases in the top of the first on two singles and a WVU error. However, Maxwell managed to extricate himself from the jam with minimal damage by inducing a gound ball double play. Although a run scored on the play, futher scoring was averted when catcher David Carpenter gunned down St. Bonnie's Craig King on a steal attempt of third.

The theme of missed oppurtunity continued in the bottom of the inning, as WVU, like the Bonnies, loaded the bases with none out but only managed one run. Grant Psomas, who led off the frame with a single, was pushed aorund to third on another hit and a wlak, and then scored on a wild pitch by John Zinnicker. However, the Mountaineers were unable to get anyone else home despite having two runners in scoring position with not out, as a pair of fly balls and a strikeout stranded Mike Carpenter and Kurtis Clinton.

The back and forth game continued two innings later, with the Bonnies putting together two hits for a run, and WVU responding with another run on a wild pitch. This time, it was Kurtis Clinton who rumbled home after an errant St. Bonaventure delivery, but WVU wasn't finished there. Second baseman Doug Nelms drove in Mike Christofor with a clutch two-out single to give the Mountaineers a 3-2 lead.

Just when it looked like the game would be a back and forth affair, WVU broke out the heavy lumber (or aluminum) at the same time their pitching settled into a groove. The Gold and Blue plated three runs in the fifth and piled on four more in the sixth to turn the game from a tightly contested affair into a blowout.

Kyle Matuszek had a decisive two-run single in the fifth, and WVU strung together six hits, alsong with a St. Bonaventure error, on their way to four runs in the sixth. Even though the Mountaineers left the bases loaded in that frame (and stranded nine throughout the game), those two innings were more than enough to secure a comfortable win.

Kurtis Clinton led the powerful WVU attack, going 4-5 at the plate. Clinton had an outstanding all-around performance, scoring three runs, driving in another and adding two stolen bases.

Grant Psomas added three hits as part of the 15-hit assault, and he also swiped two bases, as WVU piled up five thefts on the afternoon. Jake Serfass and Matuszek each had two hits, and Matuszek added three RBI.

Justin Asbury pitched the ninth in relief of Maxwell, and would have had a 1-2-3 inning if not for a fielding error. As it was, the miscue allowed Asbury to strike out the side, as he fanned Matt Marduesz to close out the contest for the home team.

West Virginia dives right into the deep end of conference play as they host a three game series with Notre Dame at Hawley Field this weekend. WVU will face the Irish in a doubleheader on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., and conclude the series with a single game Sunday at the same time.

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