Five Homers Power Mountaineers

A season-high five home runs and three big innings were just some of the highlights in West Virginia's 21-12 beatdown of Duquesne on Tuesday.

The Mountaineers continued to rip the ball as they recorded their 27th win of the season. West Virginia pounded out 19 hits and scored six runs in the second inning, five in the third and another five in the fifth to take command of the contest. Even more amazingly, the offensive outburst occurred over just seven innings, as the contest was shortened due to inclement weather.

Duquesne jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but it didn't take long for West Virginia's potent lineup to respond. Left fielder Justin Parks smoked a grand slam in the top of the second to help fuel the six-run frame, and when the Mountaineers added a five-spot in the top of the third, the rout was on. Catcher Tobias Streich had the big hit of that inning, a two-run blast.

Duquesne tried to chip away at the lead with four runs over the next two innings, but WVU pushed the margin out to 16-5 on the strength of two more home runs in the top of the fifth. Parks and second baseman Vince Belnome accounted for all the runs with a pair of roundtrippers.

Parks finished the game with seven RBI, while Markel and Belnome added three each. Included in Marke's hit total was his tenth home run of the season, which also marked the fifth consectuive game in which he has taken an opposing pitcher deep. West Virginia finished with nine extra base hits.

West Virginia's pitching was not in top form, but was never seriously threatened. Reliever Justin Ellis got the win after coming on in the fourth inning. He allowed seven earned runs, including five in Duquesne's final at bat, but Andy Podolinski nailed down the win by getting a strikeout to end the last gasp rally.

WVU, now ranked #26 in the nation by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, is off until Friday when it travels to Notre Dame for another key Big East series. West Virginia is tied with USF at the top of the Big East with 10-2 records, while the Irish are tied for fifth with a 6-6 mark.

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