Baseball Beats Duquesne

Billy Gross pitched eight solid innings, and Vince Belnome finished with three hits and an RBI to lead West Virginia to an 8-1 victory over Duquesne at Hawley Field on Wednesday.

Gross (1-0) earned the win in his second start of the season, only allowing one run on two hits, while striking out eight batters and walking two. After allowing the game's first run in the second inning, he didn't give up another hit.

"I was very happy with his performance," WVU head coach Greg Van Zant said. "Last year, they got five or six runs in the first inning off him, and he's really worked hard to improve this year. Last year, we gave up 14 runs against them, and this year, we were able to get a nice win, so I was really happy with his performance."

Justin Parks provided a big spark with a two-run homer to left field in the eighth inning, his first of the season. The Mountaineers (6-3) scored eight runs on 11 hits and committed one error, while the Dukes (0-7) scored one run on three hits. Duquesne took the early 1-0 lead in the second inning. Mike Carroll led off the inning with a single, followed by a Bill Torre walk, putting the Dukes in scoring position. After a sacrifice bunt by Dante Plassio, Brian Bernardo grounded out to second to plate Plassio.

WVU responded in the third inning with two runs. Dan DiBartolomeo singled before Jedd Gyorko continued his solid hitting with an RBI triple to tie the game,1-1. The Mountaineers took the 2-1 lead on Belnome's RBI double to left center field. In the sixth inning, West Virginia tacked on two more runs as Chris Enourato broke the game open with a run-scoring double to right center to score Belnome. Enourato then scored on a wild pitch by Duquesne reliever Jeremy Gerger to extend WVU's lead to 5-1. It then sealed the victory with a three-run eighth inning, highlighted by Parks' blast off middle reliever Joe Perotti. Joe Agreste added an RBI sacrifice fly to right, scoring Austin Markel to extend the lead to 8-1, the final.

Duquesne starter Matt Zarin (0-1) took the loss after giving up three runs on five hits in four innings pitched. The Dukes used five pitchers, while WVU used two. Eric Saffell pitched a scoreless ninth inning to finish the game for the Mountaineers.

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