With two innings to go, West Virginia’s 20-game streak of midweek wins was in dire jeopardy — but freshman Grant Hussey came through to help extend that streak to 21.
The Mountaineers overcame a 2-run deficit in the eighth inning, scoring three straight runs to take a 5-4 win over Rider on Tuesday. Hussey knocked in two of those runs, upping his RBI total to 11 on the season, which is second on WVU.
The Broncs took the early advantage, giving WVU starter Tyler Stretchay a tough day on the mound for two innings. Third baseman Jack Winsett put the first run on the board, knocking home Luke Lesch with a single.
Stretchay left the game after two innings, allowing only that run on four hits, but he hurled 49 pitches in that span. He did strike out two batters and walked one.
The right-handed redshirt sophomore earned his first start of the season in a bullpen game for WVU. Randy Mazey called on eight pitchers throughout the game, but things nearly got out of hand in the seventh.
Ben Abernathy took the mound for WVU as its fifth arm, and allowed three hits and three runs in just six batters — allowing the Broncs to swing in front.
West Virginia’s offense picked back up against Rider closer Cal Stalzer, who took the rubber in the eighth. Hussey started the comeback off by scoring JJ Wetherholt on a sacrifice fly to left field, then Victor Scott scored on a fielder’s choice to tie the game up.
After a quiet ninth, Hussey again took the plate in the bottom of the tenth, smacking the ball to the wall and sending Ethan Smith home for the victory.
Stalzer (1-1, 6.75 ERA) took the loss with 2.1 innings of work, allowing three runs and three hits while logging a pair of strikeouts and a pair of walks. Kenny Quijano got the start and gave two innings to the Broncs, allowing a run on two hits.
Mikey Kluska added a pair of RBIs to WVU’s winning effort on a 1 for 4 day. McGwire Holbrook went 2 for 4 with a double and a RBI, while Austin Davis added three singles to WVU’s 11-hit total.
Jake Barbiere was the only Rider batter with multiple hits, finishing the night 3 for 5 with two strikeouts.
West Virginia improves to 8-4 overall on the season and snaps a 2-game skid. The win opens a 4-game homestand for the Mountaineers, which continues on Friday against Ohio State. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. ET on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.