WVU Takes VU Opener

West Virginia rode a six-run sixth inning en route to a 9-4 win over Villanova in the opener of a three-game weekend Big East series.

The outburst was fueled by a gaggle of Wildcat miscues, including three errors, two walks and a hit batsman. All six runs were unearned, as the Mountaineers scored two runs before recording their only hit of the inning. In all, the Wildcats committed five errors on the day.

Villanova got off to a good start by plating three runs in the top of the first on Jeremy Hunt's home run, but WVU responded with Kyle Matuszek's RBI single to cut the lead to two. The teams traded runs in the fourth (Matuszek's solo home run provided the Mountaineer tally) before Villanova imploded in the sixth.

WVU had just one hit in their big inning (a Tyler Kuhn RBI single), but took advantage of the Villanova errors and walks in a big way. Wildcat pitchers walked in two runs, and two sacrifice flies plated the final two runs of the inning.

Justin Jenkins added an insurance run with an RBI single in the eighth for WVU.

Kuhn, Jenkins and Matuszek combined for eight of West Virginia's ten hits on the evening. Pitcher Dan Leatherman weathered the first inning jitters to produce a complete game. He struck out nine batters while walking just two, and scattered six hits over the final eight innings to keep the visitors in check. It was his third complete game of the season.

With the win, WVU evened its Big East conference record at 8-8, and moved to 28-14 overall on the season. The two teams face off again at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.

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