MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Brandon White had a career-high four hits and drove in two runs as West Virginia came from behind to beat Niagara 9-6 on Tuesday night.
Darius Hill had three hits. Isaiah Kearns and Jimmy Galusky each had two hits for.
The Mountaineers’ (11-14) bullpen had a stellar performance, pitching seven innings of three hit baseball.
“Unbelievable,” head coach Randy Mazey said of his bullpen’s outing “We had a plan going into this game, like we always do pitching-wise, but that got thrown out the window when they go up 5-1. You have to bring your best guys in there. Those guys, our best guys, have been pitching the best, but they can’t pitch every game. So, we have to have somebody else out of that bullpen step up and pitch some quality innings for us. In order to do that, they just have to watch the guys who are pitching really well and do what they do.”
Sam Kessler (1-0) picked up the win. He tossed 1.2 scoreless innings. Shane Ennis earned his second save of the season.
Alex MacKinnon suffered the loss for the Purple Eagles (7-13).
WVU jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Braden Zarbnisky stole home. However, Niagara scored two runs in the second inning and three in the third to take a 5-1 lead.
In the bottom of the third, the Mountaineers began to chip away at the Purple Eagles lead. Zarbnisky led off the frame with a walk and advanced to second on Ivan Gonzalez’s groundout. Then Hill was struck by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch that scored Zarbnisky.
Kearns’ base hit moved Hill up 90 feet and he scored on a wild pitch, cutting WVU’s deficit to 5-3.
The Mountaineers tacked on a run in the fourth and the fifth before exploding for four runs in the sixth.
Niagara scored one run in the top of the fifth.
A leadoff single and a walk put two aboard for Kearns. His single through the left side scored Hill from second.
With one out, Andrew Zitel’s base hit knocked in Alek Manoah and gave WVU a 7-6 advantage. White doubled to left center, driving in both Kearns and Zitel.
The Mountaineers host UNLV for a three game series beginning Friday night at 6:30 p.m. (ET).
Photo Credit: Jeff Ruff, BGS