No BP? No Problem

Threatening weather prevented pre-game batting practice from taking place at Hawley Field before Tuesday's game against Akron, but that didn't hurt West Virginia's hot-hitting squad from producing more offensive fireworks.

Despite the absence of pregame BP, WVU came out smoking in a 10-6 non-conference win against Akron. The Mountaineers scored three runs in both the first and second innings to take an early 6-0 lead that it never relinquished.

The visiting Zips did manage to close the gap to one by scoring three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth, but WVU moved comfortably in front with four runs in the bottom of the sixth to secure the win.

West Virginia starter Trent Ridgely was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst, getting the win despite yielding five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings of work. Marty Fagler and Kevin Korzun provided solid relief work, giving up just one run over the final 3 1/3 innings.

WVU got things started with a bang in the first, loading the bases with no outs. It then appeared as if Akron starter Tom Farmer would escape the jam, as he struck out both Stan Posluszny and Kyle Matuszek, but Casey Bowling rifled a bases-clearing triple to put the Mountaineers on top. In the second, Posluszny made up for his missed RBI chance in the first by smacking a three-run homer to right field to double West Virginia's lead.

Ridgely, who had pitched out of a bases-loaded situation in the second, held the Zips in check until the fifth, when Scott Gunn drove his own long ball to right center with two men aboard to cut the lead to 6-3. An inning later, Ridgley gave up a two-run double that shaved the Mountaineer lead to one and ended his stint on the mound. Fagler came on in relief and got the final out of the inning.

WVU didn't take long to hand Fagler a cushion to work with, as it scored four runs courtesy of several Zip misplays in the bottom of the sixth. Pitcher Jeremy Goldizen allowed two walks to start the inning, and Akron third baseman Vince Chiera made a bad throw on an attempted sacrifice bunt to allow both baserunners to score. Matuszek's sacrifice fly and Bowling's RBI single closed out the scoring for WVU. Fagler allowed a leadoff home run in the ninth, but Korzun came on to get the final out and sew up the WVU win.

Bowling had a big day for WVU, driving in four runs on a 2-3 performance at the plate. Posluszny was 3-5 with three RBI as the Mountaineers piled up 10 runs on 10 hits, with half of those going for extra bases.

Although the victory doesn't help WVU in its battle to move up the Big East standings, it certainly didn't hurt the Mountaineers' momentum. West Virginia has now won five of its last six games heading into the regular season ending series with South Florida, which begins on Thursday.

WVU could move as high as third in the final standings, depending upon the outcome of this weekend's final series.

BlueGoldNews Top Stories