Derby City Downer

West Virginia twice held the lead against Louisville in the final game of its three-game set against the Cards, but couldn't hold on, falling 9-8 on Sunday.

The Mountaineers rallied from an early 6-2 deficit to take leads of 7-6 and 8-7, but couldn't hold on as the home team rallied to sweep the three-game set and drop WVU to 3-3 in the conference.

After playing from behind for most of the first two games, WVU was in familiar territory when it yielded two runs in the first inning to fall behind 2-0. A pair of sacrifice flies tied it for the Mountaineers in the fourth, but the Cardinals got to West Virginia starter Kenny Durst for four runs in the bottom of the fourth to retake the lead at 6-2.

West Virginia kept Durst in the game via the long ball, however, cranking both a two-run and a three-run homer in the top of the sixth to give him the first lead of the game. However, Durst allowed a solo homer in the bottom of the frame to again tie the score, this time at seven.

WVU struck next in the back and forth contest, scoring its final run in the top of the seventh to take an 8-7 lead, but Louisville tied it again in the bottom of the seventh, then scored an unearned run off releiver Billy Gross in the eighth to gain the series sweep.

West Virginia scored enough runs to win two of the games in the series, but weren't able to hold down the Cardinal bats long enough to come out on top in either of the contests. First baseman Jordon Yost was 2-4 including the three-run homer, and scored two runs, while Austin Markel contributed the two-run homer and two runs scored. Left fielder Justing Jenkins went 4-5 while Trent Ridgley was 2-4. The Mountaineers worked their way through five Louisville pitchers, but in the end the committee approach proved just a bit more effective that WVU's two-man combination.

The Mountaineers step out of conference again this week against Coppin State on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m.

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