MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–Isaiah Kearns pitched 5.0 innings of scoreless baseball as West Virginia pounded Pitt 12-1 on Wednesday night at Monongalia County Ballpark.
The Mountaineers (15-15) have won five of their last six games and have beaten the Panthers (17-13) in four consecutive games.
Kearns struck out a career-high eight batters while surrendering just two hits over five innings. The sophomore earned the win, his first of the year. Three relievers followed Kearns and combined to allow one run on two hits with six strikeouts and no walks.
“We talked about what it says on the back of our t-shirts, every year, you have a slogan that you put on the back of your t-shirts, and this year it said ‘Here We Come,’ and that’s what we just talked about in the huddle,” Mountaineers’ head coach Randy Mazey said after the win. “As we talk about after every game, we’re trying to catch a rhythm and hopefully this is the start of it, because we have an opportunity to make some noise right now. This was, without question, the best game we’ve played all year on all three sides of the ball. We pitched really well, we played great defense and we hit really well. So, that’s super encouraging.”
Junior shortstop Jimmy Galusky and sophomore center fielder Brandon White led the offensive with a career-high four hits each. Junior right fielder Darius Hill had a career-best five RBIs. Galusky and White both drove in two runs, while White scored four runs and Galusky three.
WVU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and never relinquished it. White tripled down the right field line, giving the Mountaineers their first run. Then Hill followed with an RBI groundout.
In the bottom of the third, White singled and stole second before scoring on Marques Inman’s groundout to give WVU a 3-0 edge.
Kearns struck out the side in the fourth before the Mountaineers tacked on four more runs in the fourth. Galusky’s RBI single made it a 4-0 game. Then junior Braden Zarbnisky’s sacrifice punt scored Chase Illig. With two outs, White knocked in Galusky to take a 6-0 lead.
Pitt finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth when Liam Sabino hit a solo shot to left field.
However, WVU responded with a three run bottom half of the inning to take a 9-1 lead. With the bases loaded, Hill doubled to right-center, clearing the bases.
Young then struck out the side in the seventh, and freshman Tristen Hudson added a perfect eighth inning.
The Mountaineers tacked on three more runs in the eighth to extended their lead to 12-1
Sophomore right-hander Alek Manoah pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
WVU returns to action against Oklahoma State this weekend in the Big 12 home opener at Monongalia County Ballpark. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m.
Photo Credit: Jeff Ruff, BGS