GRANVILLE, W.Va. — JJ Wetherholt was once again in uniform on Sunday, as he had been for each of the previous three games he had missed. Unbeknownst to those in attendance, the sophomore would enter the series finale against TCU.

“We made a trial run this morning. We brought some pitchers out, and he took some live at-bats just to see if he was ready,” Randy Mazey said. “I didn’t want to start him. I didn’t want to tax him. The situation was perfect, up by [six].”

West Virginia was leading 7-1 and had the bases loaded. Due up was the designated hitter, freshman Nick Barone, who was 0 for 2 on the day. Wetherholt had put on his helmet during the team’s previous plate appearance, and after Braden Barry drew a walk, he emerged from the dugout with a bat in hand.

The crowd of 2,421 spectators erupted once they saw the midseason All-American strolling to the plate.

“When I got in there, I wasn’t going in there to walk. I felt good, like my swing felt good, I wanted to get a swing off,” Wetherholt said afterward. “I put a good swing on the first one, missed it a little bit, and then the second one, I kind of caught more barrel on it, thankfully. But I was definitely, I would say I was a little anxious to swing. I wanted to swing.”

Swing, he did. Produce, he did, too.

In Wetherholt’s first plate appearance in more than a week, still dealing with lingering effects of the left-hand injury that had sidelined him for five-and-a-half games, he laced a double to right field. Three runs scored on the play, and West Virginia’s best player was back like he never left.

“Of course, when he left we were up by [nine]. That’s just JJ being JJ,” said Mazey.

Wetherholt didn’t stop producing there.

He singled home another run as part of West Virginia’s six-run seventh inning. He also scored the game-winning run, which he was only able to do because he stole third base one pitch prior. He stole the bag, his 28th of the year, without a throw.

Wetherholt finished the day 2 for 3 at the plate with four runs batted in and a pair of runs scored. He struck out in his other at-bat. With his two hits, he raised his batting average to an astounding .455.

The Mars, Pennsylvania native stated he swung a bat for the first time since sustaining the injury on Saturday. He was able to do even more pre-game on Sunday, which gave him the green light to come into the game in the fourth.

Mazey stated West Virginia will see how Wetherholt’s hand responds to two days’ worth of swinging on Monday. The Mountaineers are back in action at home on Tuesday against Penn State.

Wetherholt’s 28 steals are the fourth-most in a single season in program history.