Road Woes

West Virginia took an early lead but couldn't sustain its offense as if dropped a 10-3 decision to St. John's on Saturday.

The loss, which dropped the Mountaineers into sixth place in the Big East, was the second consecutive game in which WVU's bats didn't boom with customary authority. West Virginia managed just seven hits (three from team leader Tyler Kuhn) and had four 1-2-3 innings at the plate.

WVU took an early 1-0 lead in the first when Vince Belnome doubled home Justin Parks, who was hit by a pitch. The Mountaineers missed the chance for a big inning when the Red Storm were able to turn a double play before Belnome's hit. WVU extended its lead to 2-0 in the third when Kuhn tripled and came home on Jedd Gyorko's single.

From there on, however, it was mostly the home team's game. The Johnnies tied things up at 2-2 in the bottom of the third, and added a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth to establish a 5-2 lead. West Virginia appeared primed for a big rally in the sixth as Gyorko doubled and came home on Belnome's hit to cut the lead to 5-3, but another double play (one of three on the day) killed the rally.

St. John's added three runs in the seventh and two more in the eight to nail down the win.

WVU starter Steve Morrison allowed six runs, but only four of those were earned, as St. John's first two runs came courtesy of a Mountaineer fielding error. Ross Fetterly pitched two innings of relief, giving up four runs. West Virginia pitchers issued five walks on the day, opposed to just one by Red Storm hurlers.

Kuhn was again the hitting star for WVU, rapping out three safeties on the afternoon. Gyorko and Belnome each had two hits, as the trio accounted for all of WVU's offense.

In the Big East standings, WVU (32-13, 11-9) trails fifth-place Louisville by one game. The Mountaineers hold a 1 1/2 game lead over South Florida and a two-game lead over Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights currently have the eighth and final spot in the race for the Big East tournament.

West Virginia will try to salvage the final game of the series in a noon game on Sunday.

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