West Virginia registered four consecutive two-run innings, added a three-run eighth inning, and turned a season-high three double plays to defeat Notre Dame, 11-6, today, at Hawley Field. The victory snapped an 11-game win-streak held by the Irish, and tied the three-game series, 1-1.
Junior Joe Agreste led the Mountaineer offense with a career-high four RBIs, three hits, including one home run, and two runs. Sophomore Vince Belnome recorded two RBIs, two hits and two runs, while Tyler Kuhn and Austin Markel added three hits each.
West Virginia (28-10, 8-6 BIG EAST) closed the game with 11 runs on 15 hits, committing one error, while Notre Dame (24-10-1, 11-3 BIG EAST) finished the game with six runs on 12 hits. Stephen Morrison (5-2) earned his fifth win of the season, allowing six runs on 10 hits, striking out five and walking five in 8.2 innings of work. Notre Dame's Wade Korpi (5-2) recorded his second loss of the season, allowing four runs on five hits, and walking four in three innings.
Notre Dame's David Mills hit an inside-the-park home run when Markel and Justin Parks collided in right center field to give Notre Dame an early 1-0 lead in the first inning.
In the second inning, Markel was hit by a pitch before Agreste and Jordon Yost both walked on to load the bases. Dan DiBartolomeo then reached on a fielder's choice to plate Markel, out Yost and advance Agreste to third. Tobias Streich's RBI single down the left field line then plated Agreste and put the Mountaineers up, 2-1.
The Mountaineers had three hits, and drove in two in the bottom of the third inning, to double their lead, 4-1. Belnome hit an RBI single up the middle to plate Markel, who reached on a single, before Agreste hit an RBI single to plate Belnome.
The Irish added a run in the fourth when Greg Sheery hit an infield single, advanced to second on an error by Belnome and was plated by an RBI single off the bat of Brett Lilley, closing WVU's lead, 4-2.
In the bottom of the frame, Belnome hit his second RBI of the game, a deep left center double to plate Kuhn and Streich, adding two runs for a third consecutive inning, 6-2.
Agreste hit his third home run of the season over the left field fence in the bottom of the fifth inning. Yost then singled, stole second and reached home off of Park's infield single that ricocheted off of pitcher Cole Johnson's foot, and dropped into shallow right field, to extend the Mountaineer lead, 8-2.
Kuhn singled to left field and advanced to second on Belnome's walk in the bottom of the eighth. Markel then hit a single down the right field line to load the bases. Agreste's two-run RBI single into right field plated Kuhn and Belnome, before Yost grounded out to third base to plate Markel, stretching WVU's lead 11-2.
The Irish rallied in the ninth inning with four runs on five hits. Ross Brezovsky hit a two-run RBI double to right field, plating David Milles and A.J. Pollock. Pinch-hitter, Evan Sharpley then hit a two-run RBI single to plate Brezovsky and Jeremy Barnes, to close the WVU lead, 11-6, and create the final margin.
Game three of the series will be on Sunday, April 20, at Hawley Field. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.