Feast Or Famine

It was a feast or famine weekend for the Mountaineer baseball team, which piled up 14 runs in a win over Connecticut but was shut out in its other two games against the Huskies.

The latest loss, which dropped WVU to 8-15 in the league and a full game behind ninth place UConn, was an atypical affair for the big hitting Mountaineers. West Virginia managed just seven hits in the game, but still managed to leave 13 men on base as it failed to score for just the third time this year.

The lack of clutch hitting wasted another fine effort by WVU starter Kenny Durst, who hurled West Virginia's third complete game in as many days. Durst allowed just six hits and struck out eight while waling only two, but the lack of support left him with another hard luck loss.

Austin Markell (three hits) and Justin Jenkins (two) combined for five of WVU's seven hits. The bottom five batters in the order did not record a single hit on the afternoon.

UConn, meanwhile, scratched out jstt enough offense to win the rubber game of the series. After five scoreless innings, the home team manufactured a run in the sixth on a game of pickle. With a runner on first and one out, Dale Brannon singled, but was hung up between first and second when the throw to the plate was cut off. While Brannon was being run down, however, Pater Fatse danced off third, where he had held up on the hit, and scored to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead.

UConn got a big insurance run in the seventh by putting togeter a walk and two singles with two outs, but it turned out that the solo marker was all the home team needed.

West Virginia left eight runners on base through the first four innings, including three in both the first and fourth. The Mountaineers put at least one runner aboard in every inning, but a pair of UConn double plays and the dearth of clutch hits kept anyone in gold and blue from crossing the plate.

West Virginia winds up its regular season, and possibly its entire season, with a weekend three-game series against league bottom-feeder Georgetown. WVU still trails eighth-place Cincinnati by one game, but the Mountaineers must bypass, not just tie, the Bearcats in the conference, as UC holds the tiebreaker against WVU. UC faces Notre Dame and Connecticut squares off against Louisville in three-game sets this weekend as well. The Mountaineers must get help from both the Irish and Cardinals, as well win at least two games against the Hoyas, to have any cahce at postseason play.

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