Hawks Swept

West Virginia's baseball team kept its bats booming as it downed Maryland - Eastern Shore 10-2 to complete a non-conference doubleheader sweep on Tuesday.

After scoring eight runs in a seven-inning first game win over UMES, West Virginia continued to crank out the hits in the nightcap, smacking 14 safeites enroute to a 10-2 win. Five Mountaineers had multi-hit games, with seven different players scoring at least one run.

WVU took a commanding lead early in the nine inning contest, scoring six runs in the second to stake starting pitcher Josh Whitlock with a comfortable lead. Austin Markel and Jordon Yost led off the inning with back-to-back doubles to start the scoring, and after an error and a pair of singles loaded the bases, Adam White drove in two runs with single through the middle. Justin Jenkins then drove in another run with a hit, and Markel, who started it all off, plated the final run of the frame via a fielder's choice.

One inning later, Jason Pape smoked another double (one of three for WVU in the contest) to drive home Vince Belnome and increase West Virginia's lead to 7-0. Yost had a solo home run in the seventh and Tyler Kuhn an RBI single in the eighth (he later scored on a passed ball) to account for West Virginia's final three runs.

In something of an imitation of the first game, WVU pitcher Josh Whitlock cruised through the first five innings before running into problems in the sixth. Whitlock faced just one batter over the minimum through the first five frames, allowing just a walk and a single. He struck out the side in the fourth, and finished with eight total in 6 2/3 innings of work.

A hit batsman, a wild pitch and a pair of hits accounted for UMES' pair of runs in the top of the sixth, but Whitlock steadied himself with another strikeout to end the inning. However, three walks, scattered around two groundouts, loaded the bases in the top of the seventh, and brought Eric Saffel on to pitch for the Mountaineers. He got out of the bases loaded jam by getting UMES' Eric Gaines to line out to left.

Saffel allowed one hit in the eight and ninth innings, but was never serious threatened as the Mountaineers ran their record to 20-10. UMES fell to 7-26 with the losses.

Kuhn, Jenkins, Yost Pape and Belnome all had two hits for WVU. Belnome scored three runs, and White and Yost had two RBI each. The Mountaineers also helped themselves by playing an error-free game defensively.

Justin Jenkins' two hits left him one game shy of Josh Williamson's record of 30 consecutive games with at least one hit. Jenkins will get the chance to break the record in an important three game league series with Cincinnati this weekend. The Mountaineers and Bearcats, along with Seton Hall, are tied for sixth in the league with 4-5 conference records. The top eight teams make the championship playoffs, which begin on May 22.

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