In a back-and-forth contest in the state capital, the West Virginia baseball team pulled away late for a 15-9 victory over its in-state rival, Marshall, in front of over 5,000 fans at GoMart Ballpark. The Mountaineers have now won six straight against Marshall and improve to 22-7 on the season while the Thundering Herd fall to 13-13.
Redshirt-senior Caleb McNeely hit two home runs and drove in four runs to lead the offense. He is the only Mountaineer this season with a multi-home run game and has now done it twice, the first coming against Richmond exactly one month ago.
Sophomore Grant Hussey went 3-for-4 with his sixth home run of the season and three RBI while junior Braden Barry, sophomore JJ Wetherholt, and junior Landon Wallace each added two hits. Barry and graduate students Tevin Tucker and Dayne Leonard each drove in two runs while Wetherholt, who was named to the Golden Spikes Award watch list earlier in the day, scored three runs.
Freshman Maxx Yehl picked up the first win of his career by throwing 1.0 scoreless innings. Redshirt-freshman David Hagaman also had a scoreless outing with three strikeouts in 1.1 innings while junior Carlson Reed struck out three in a scoreless ninth to finish the game.
Hussey gave the Mountaineers the lead with a two-run home run in the second inning, but Marshall responded with three runs in the third to take the lead.
A throwing error by the Herd in the fourth allowed WVU to tie the game, but in the home half, a solo home run put Marshall back on top.
Barry just missed a two-run home run in the fifth, settling for an RBI double to knot the game at four before McNeely gave the Mountaineers the lead with a two-run home run off the videoboard in left-center.
The lead did not last long, however, as Marshall hit a grand slam in the fifth to go up, 8-6.
After a scoreless sixth inning, WVU tied the game in the seventh with a two-out rally as freshman Sam White singled before back-to-back doubles from Wallace and Hussey evened up the contest at eight.
Once again, Marshall answered in the home half with a run to retake the lead.
In the eighth, West Virginia loaded the bases with nobody out. After a double play tied the game, McNeely made sure to not let the golden opportunity pass without further damage as he made a ball disappear into the night sky for a two-run home run. He now has eight home runs on the season to take over the team lead.
The Mountaineers separated from the Herd in the ninth with four runs, getting RBI base knocks from Tucker, Barry, and Leonard.
WVU will return to Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark this weekend for a Big 12 series against Kansas. First pitch on Friday is set for 6:30 p.m.