Returning the Favor

On Friday, West Virginia failed to score in dropping a 5-0 decision to Connecticut. One day later, the Mountaineers returned the favor with a 14-0 crushing of the Huskies.

WVU put together one of its finest overall perfomances of the season in whitewashing UConn. Starting pitcher Matt Yurish not only went the distance, but also allowed just five hits. More importantly, he did not walk a batter, avoiding the self-inflicted wounds that have plagued West Virginia pitchers for much of the season. He faced just four batters over the minimum, struck out seven, and allowed just three different UConn batter to collect hits.

West Virginia's offense was just as potent as it was anemic a day earlier. Seven different Mountaineers had hits, led by Tyler Kuh, who had a monster day at the plate. The WVU shortstop was 4-5 on the afternoon, driving in five runs and scoring another three. Trent Ridgley, Adam White and Brent Lockhart also had multi-hit games.

West Virginia used the long ball to build an early lead, as Tyler Kuhn blasted a two-run shot and Austin Markell followed one batter later with a solo blast to put the Mountaineers up 3-0.

One inning later, WVU sent nine batters to the plate and scored four runs to give Yurish a commanding 7-0 lead. Kuhn again came up big with a two-run single to pace the Mountaineer effort.

After that, it was a matter of playing out the string, but West Virginia didn't quit lighting up the scoreboard. Four more runs crossed the plate in the seventh, fueled by a leadoff walk and a hit batsman. Trent Ridgely provided the signature hit of the innint with a two run single to score Markel and Kuhn.

The Mountaineers closed out the scoring with two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth. The former were again set up by a hit batsman and a walk. Kuhn closed his five RBI day with another two-run single in the frame. In the ninth, Ridgley brought WVU full circle with a solo home run, which gave him three hits and three RBI.

With the win, WVU moved back in front of UConn, and trails eighth place Cincinnati by one game. The Bearcats hold the tiebreaker over West Virginia, so the Mountaineers will have to bypass UC in the standing in order to gain the eighth place playoff spot.

WVU and UConn complete their series on Sunday at noon.

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