By Ryan Decker
Less than 24 hours after scoring the most runs in a single game since 2010 West Virginia (4-2) was locked in a pitcher’s duel Sunday afternoon against Ball State in the third game of the Caravelle Resort Tournament in South Carolina.
Ball State starting pitcher Colin Brockhouse took a no-hit bid into the seventh-inning and a shut out into the eighth.
Darius Hill continued his hot start to the season, hitting a go ahead to run home run in the top of the eighth to give the mountaineers the lead and a dramatic 4-1 victory.
West Virginia starter Carter Camp surrendered a lone run in the first inning, as Seth Freed scored from third on a groundout after tripling to reach base.
The early run didn’t rattle the young Mountaineer starter, who registered four strikeouts over the next two innings. Camp also picked off a runner at first base in the third to keep the Cardinals at bay.
Camp pitched five innings of two-hit ball in his first career start, giving up the lone run and striking out seven before handing the ball over to Braden Zarbnisky.
While Camp was limiting Ball State’s offense, Brockhouse was silencing the Mountaineer hitters.
WVU failed to have a runner reach scoring position in the first three innings, and even though Kyle Davis made it to second base in the fourth and Marques Inman got to third in the fifth, West Virginia was still scoreless heading into the sixth inning.
Inman ended Brockhouse’s no-hit bid with a single in the top of the seventh, but he too was left on the base path.
Still without a run heading into the eighth inning, Davis reached base with a two-out single up the middle. Hill, the ensuing batter, swung on the second pitch he saw and drove it over the fence in right field of a two-run home run, his second in as many days, to give WVU a 2-1 lead.
Brockhouse’s replacement, T.J. Baker, didn’t fair any better, surrendering two runs in the ninth, both of which touched home as result of a wild pitch.
West Virginia scored its four runs on a total of four hits off the bats of Davis, Hill, Inman and Cole Austin.
Hill was the only Mountaineer to tally an RBI.
Neither WVU reliever surrendered a hit, as only one Cardinal batter reached base over the final four innings. Zarbnisky struck out five over three innings on the mound. Alec Manoah earned the first save of his career, pitching a spotless ninth inning.
WVU returns to action Monday against No. 18 Coastal Carolina, who the Mountaineers defeated 22-9 Saturday.