Waco, TX - The West Virginia Mountaineers put up back-to-back three-run innings to comfortably take an 8-4 decision over the Baylor Bears, ending a five-game skid and avoiding a series sweep Sunday afternoon.
Leadoff hitter Jack Pineda started the day with a single right back up the middle, and Jared McKenzie flared a double field to put runners on second and third before consecutive sacrifice flies from Tre Richardson and Andy Thomas put the first two runs on the board.
West Virginia starting pitcher walked back-to-back Bears to begin the bottom of the fourth, then Davion Downy two hopped a double to the right field wall bringing in one run, but the relay throw was in time to tag Andy Thomas at the plate as the Baylor held a 3-0 lead.
Through four innings, Baylor starting pitcher Hayden Kettler allowed just one hit and striking out five, but the Mountaineers got to him in the fifth after Vincent Ippoliti (2-2, 2 RBI, 2 HBP) and Matt McCormick (2-5, HR, 2 RBI) led off the inning with singles and Kevin Brophy (1-5, 2 Runs) reached on a fielder’s choice, but an errant throw loaded the bases. Then, Tyler Doanes (1-5, 2 RBI) dropped a single into left-centerfield, scoring two, and Victor Scott (1-3, RBI, Run, BB) tied the game with a sacrifice fly.
In the top of the sixth, again, the Mountaineers started the inning with consecutive singles, this time from Paul McIntosh (1-3, Run, 2 BB) and again from Ippoliti before McCormick lifted a three-run home run well over the right-centerfield wall to grab the 6-3 lead. Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez called in the lefty Hambleton Oliver, who ended the inning going 1-2-3.
Victor Scott hit a one-out single before Oliver walked consecutive Mountaineers to load the bases, and Ippoliti hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Scott to extend the lead 7-3.
West Virginia head coach Randy Mazey took his starter Ben Hampton out after giving up a two-out single in the eighth. He ended the day, allowing three runs on four hits and striking out four. Noah Short took the mound and got out of the inning on a strikeout.
In the eighth, Brophy led off the inning with a single into left field, Austin Davis (1-3) moved him to second on a sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a groundball from Austin Davis, then Mikey Kluska flared an RBI single into right-centerfield, providing the Mountaineers a little more cushion, 8-3.
Baylor was able to produce a run with two outs when Jared McKenzie hit a stand-up double, then Tre Richardson hit a deep drive that right fielder Austin Davis tracked, dove caught it, but the ball popped out once he hit the ground as Richardson registered an RBI triple and got the Bears back within four.
Short held the Bears hitless in the ninth as the Mountaineers grab the 8-4 victory over Baylor.
West Virginia is back in action on Wednesday as they host the Marshall Thundering Herd, with the first pith set for 6:30 pm EST.
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