Skid Continues

West Virginia had leads of 4-1 and 6-5 against the Ohio Bobcats on Tuesday, but couldn't hold on as shaky relief pitching led to a disappointing 7-6 loss.

Mountaineer relievers gave up one run in the eight and two in the ninth to allow the homestanding Bobcats to escape with the narrow win. Relievers Trent Ridgley and Kevin Korzun allowed seven of the thirteen batters they faced to reach base in the final two innings, and again much of the damage was self inflicted. A devastating five walks were issued by the pair, which helped se tthe stage for the Ohio rally.

WVU got off to a good start in the game, recording four runs in third by stringing six singles together in the innuing. The tally could have been greater, but a poor decision to send centerfielder Adam White on an attempted steal of third base with two outs ended the inning.

Mountaineer starter Matt Yurish pitched well before running into trouble in the fifth, when Ohio scored three runs -- again aided by West Virginia miscues. A walk and a hit batsman paved the way for catcher Chris Klimko's three-run homer that tied the game at 4-4.

The game remined knotted until the eighth, when Ridgley loaded the bases with a double and a pair of walks (the first intentional), then yielded a sacrifice fly to give OU the lead at 5-4.

That didn't seem to matter, however, when WVU rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth to reclaim the lead at 6-5. Leadoff hitter Tyler Kuhn drove in two runs with a clutch hit (he was 3-5 on the day with three RBI) to give the Mountaineers their second lead at 6-5. Ohio managed to stem the rally with an inning-ending double play -- one that proved key in light of the events to come.

Once again, the Bobcats scoring was vastly aided by pitiching bobbles. Two walks, surrounded by a sacrifice bunt, put runners on first and second, and when Korzun came on in relief, things didn't improve. A wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third, and another intentional walk loaded the bases. Korzun then managed to induce a ground ball that resulted in a forceout at home plate for the second out, but then centerfielder Willie Walker came up with his only hit of the game, a two-run single that ended the contest.

First baseman Kyle Matuszek and catcher David Carpenter continued their hot hitting with a pair of hits each. Each also scored a run while Carpenter added an RBI.

West Virginia hosts Connecticut in an important three-game Big East series at Hawley Field beginning Thursday.

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