If you need a run, just call Victor Scott II.
West Virginia (6-2) continued its explosive start at the plate with a 17-3 rout of Canisius (4-5) on Tuesday in its home opener, led by a massive offensive game from Scott, who dinged two home runs.
The junior outfielder entered the game in a three-way tie for the team’s lead in RBIs with nine, but it took just two hits for him to nearly double his total. Scott hit back-to-back homers in the sixth and seventh innings, the latter of which was a grand slam to get his total up to seven for the game.
“Hopefully this is going to be his breakout year,” said WVU coach Randy Mazey. “He’s standing in there with a lot of confidence and is pretty tough to pitch to right now.”
That seventh inning slam stole the show from freshman third baseman JJ Wetherholt, who added to the strong start of his college career with a 4 for 5 night with 3 RBIs and a double. He is one of several Mountaineers to log multi-hit games as WVU logged 16 hits as a team.
“We’re ahead of schedule I think on our offense,” Mazey said. “We’ve never swung it this good this early, so that’s hopefully a sign of things to come.”
Six Mountaineer pitchers held Canisius to seven hits, while all three of the Golden Griffins’ runs were scored in the fourth inning on starter Zach Bravo. Before that inning, however, Bravo had allowed just one base runner.
Freshman reliever Michael Kilker was the winning pitcher for West Virginia, allowing just one hit with three strikeouts in two innings of work.
Justin Guiliano, the Canisius starter, was handed the loss after allowing three runs on four hits in two innings.
“This is a team where, just like tonight, we use every guy on the team offensively,” Mazey said. “Everybody got in the game….That’s what this team is, we can interchange guys all the time without losing anything so that’s a pretty good feeling too.”
Plenty more new faces got their fingerprints on this Mountaineer win, including catcher Dayne Leonard. Not long before opening day, Mazey wasn’t sure who would be behind the plate, but so far, his decision to tap on the Virginia Tech transfer has paid off as he leads the team with a .476 batting average.
Leonard only added to that on Tuesday with a 2 for 4 night with an RBI.
“We didn’t expect a ton of offense out of Dayne going into the season, but we’re dang sure getting it,” Mazey said.
The Mountaineers continue their strong start to the season, which is the first time they’ve won six of their first eight games since 2017.
They next hit the road on Friday to start a three-game trip against Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan State at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.