Comeback Effort Falls Short

A 10-0 hole was too deep for West Virginia to climb out of, but the Mountaineers gave it everything they had before falling 13-9 to Youngstown State on Monday.

The visiting Penguins smacked four home runs and piled up 14 hits overall in outslugging WVU. Designated hitter Eric Marzec had a career day, blasting three home runs and driving in six runners.

West Virginia starter Bobby Thompson was hit hard early, yielding five runs in just 2 1/3 innings. Reliever Ross Fetterly didn't fare any better, giving up four hits and two runs without facing a batter, and Eric Saffell also struggled, yielding four earned runs in four innings. Even closer Chris Enourato was shaky, as he gave up a two run homer in his one inning of work.

Youngstown built a 10-0 lead through four innings before West Virginia was able to get on the board. Grant Buckner's infield single scored one run, Mark Dvoroznak's hit brought home a second, Justin Parks forced in a run with a walk and Tyler Kuhn produced a sacrifice fly to give WVU four runs in the fifth inning.

Justin Markel helped WVU inch closer with a solo homer in the sixth to cut the lead to 10-5, and after YSU matched that run in the seventh, the Mountaineers made things interesting. Parks smashed a run-scoring triple and Kuhn brought him home with another hit to make it 11-7, and when Joe Agreste and Tobias Streich followed with a fielder's choice and a hit that produced two more runs, WVU appeared poised for another rally. However, Penguin reliever Craig Gillet steadied to close down the rally and shut WVU out to the rest of the way to preserve the win.

Five Mountaineers had multiple hits in the game. Markel smacked three, including the home run, and Parks, Kuhn, Streich and Dvoroznak had two each. Parks and Kuhn produced two RBI each.

While the loss was disappointing, bigger, more important games await WVU two days from now. The Mountaineers (35-16, 13-11) head to Cincinnati to face the Bearcats on Thursday, May 15, in their final three-game series of the regular season. The first pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. WVU needs just one win, or one loss from either VIllanova, South Florida or Rutgers, to clinch a spot in the Big East tournament.


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