Mountaineers knock of Eagles

By Ryan Decker

Less than 24 hours after defeating in-state rival Marshall, the West Virginia Mountaineers (17-10) welcomed one of the best hitting teams in the country in Morehead State (22-7).

Working in the middle of a loaded week, pitching coach Derek Matlock deployed a barrage of largely untested pitchers to go against a potent Eagle hitting attack.

It worked.

Freshman starter Alek Manoah, and fellow young guns Cody Wood and Frank Vesuvio earned their stripes, helping limit Morehead state to just one lone run in the Mountaineers 5-1 victory Wednesday night.

Graphic created by Ryan Decker 

While Morehead State had a tough time mustering any offense, West Virginia got on the board early.

Hitting with a pair of runners in scoring position, Jackson Cramer drove in a run on a groundout. Brandon White scored on a wild pitch a few pitches later, giving the Mountaineers a 2-0 lead after the first.

WVU tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third.

Kyle Gray scored on an errant throw by the Eagles catcher, and White scored for a second time on a ball put in play with the bases loaded by Darius Hill.

Meanwhile, Manoah pitched to just one over the minimum through the opening three frames, inducing a number of groundouts and also fielding a line drive in a play that will surely be in Sports Center in the morning.

Manoah pitched into trouble in the fourth, and handed the ball over to Wood, who pitched out of the jam and set the Eagles down in order in the fifth.

The Mountaineer hitters added another run in the fifth on an RBI single by Hill, pushing the lead to 5-0.

The Eagles scratched across their lone run in the sixth on a balk.

Outside the one run, the Eagles were held mostly silent, getting just four hits.

With the win, the Mountaineers halted the Eagles nine-game winning streak.

West Virginia is back on the diamond this weekend for a three-game series against Big 12 opponent Kansas.



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