Road Woes

West Virginia lost its fifth consecutive road league game on Saturday when it failed to hold leads on three different occasions against Georgetown.

Playing the opening game of a doubleheader (the first contest of a three-game series), the Mountaineers held leads of 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3, but were unable to make any of them stand up. The homsetanding Hoyas scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to erase the last lead and record a 5-4 victory.

As has been the case in several of WVU's recent games, the Mountaineers got off to an early good start. Tyler Kuhn led off the game with a double and scored on a fielder's choice, and West Virginia appeared ready to do major damage an inning later when it loaded the bases with one out. However, WVU was able to get only one of the runners home via a Kuhn sacrifice fly, which kept the Hoyas close at 2-0.

That lead evaporated in the bottom of the inning when the Hoyas plated two runs on the strength of just one hit. A WVU walk and a wild pitch helped the Georgetown effort as they tied the game at 2-2.

The game settled into a pitchers' duel until the sixth, when Kuhn drove in catcher David Carpenter with an RBI single. WVU again could not hold the lead, however, as Georgetown used a double, a sacrifice bunt and a single to tie the score.

In the eighth, WVU manufactured its final run of the game when Casey Bowling walked, moved to second on a sacrifice, advanced to third on a wild pitch, then scored on an error. That sequence appeared to put Mountaineer pitcher Dan Leatherman in postion to win the game, but the Hoyas had one final rally left in them. Following two singles, a flyout and a forceout, Georgetown put together a two-out rally to take the lead for the first time in the game. An RBI single tied the score, and when third baseman Justin Jenkins committed an error on a potential inning-ending chance, Hoya baserunner Drew Dargen came home with what proved to be the winning run.

Leatherman allowed four earned runs in eight innings and walked just two batters, but miscues at key times allowed the Hoyas to stay in the game. He struck out eight and allowed just one extra base hit in absorbing just his second loss of the season against seven wins.

Unfortunately for WVU, Georgetown's pitching was just a bit better, or perhaps, better at getting the big outs. While the Hoyas failed to strike out any Mountaineer batters, pitchers Warren Sizemore and Daniel Kennedy allowed just two walks combined, and stranded nine West Virginia baserunners.

Kuhn, Nelms and Adam White each posted two hits for WVU. Kuhn drove in two runs and scored another.

The loss dropped WVU to 9-10 in the league, while Georgetown closed the gap as they moved to 8-11 in the Big East. The two teams play again Saturday night at 8:00 p.m., then close the series with a single game on Sunday.

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