West Virginia's Josh Whitlock pitched a masterful game, allowing just two runs (one earned) and six hits over 9 1/3 innings, but it wasn't enough to overcome the efforts of a trio of Red Storm hurlers. St. John's Scott Barnes, Miguel Valcarcel and Colin Lynch combined to shackle the normally potent Mountaineer offense, allowing just one run and eight hits over ten frames.
West Virginia took an early lead in the third inning when Tyler Kuhn singled, stole second, and came home on Jedd Gyorko's double. That, however, was to be the Mountaineers' only tally of the game.
The homestanding Red Storm tied things up one inning later with the help of an error as Jeff Grantham singled, moved to second on a Mountaineer miscue and came home on a another hit.
From there, Whitlock battled Barnes and Valcarcel, each scattering a handful of hits but not allowing any additional scores through nine innings. In the bottom of the tenth, however, St John's played classic small ball by stringing together two hits and two sacrifices to plate Chris Anninos with the winning run.
Gyorko had three hits for the Mountaineers, while Tyloer Kuhn had two. Withlock (7-4) was tagged with the loss despite his excellent outing.
Game two of the three game series is set for Saturday, May 3. First pitch is at 1 p.m.