GRANVILLE, W.Va. – West Virginia baseball scored enough runs for two wins Saturday. Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, those scores cannot be split retroactively to Friday.
No. 12 WVU (38-13, 14-6 Big 12) scored multiple runs in five separate innings to beat Texas Tech (35-17, 10-10 Big 12) 17-2 Saturday afternoon at Monongalia County Ballpark. There were only two home frames in which the Mountaineers did not score. At one point, they scored 12 runs in a four-inning stretch.
“An average team after the loss on Friday would’ve folded up and not played hard,” head coach Randy Mazey said. “A good team would’ve come out today like we did and win. A great team will do it again tomorrow.”
Saturday saw five different Mountaineers record multiple hits on the evening: Tevin Tucker (2-for-5), J.J. Wetherholt (2-for-4), Landon Wallace (2-for-3), Braden Barry (2-for-3) and Grant Hussey (3-for-5).
Hussey produced his best offensive performance of the season, which was a sharp contrast from his four-strikeout performance Friday. It was the first time this season – and the third time in his young career – that he homered twice in one game. Both of his homers were line-drive shots into the Mountaineer bullpen in right field. Prior to Saturday, he had four career games with four-plus RBIs.
“I’ve been seeing pitches well,” Hussey said. “I think today was my 100th career game, so [I am] just maturing, seeing pitches well. Yesterday wasn’t a great day, but I turned it around today and I’m back to where I was.”
Wallace collected two hits and three RBIs after going 1-for-9 with no RBIs in his last three games. With WVU up 5-0 in the third inning, he ripped a bases-clearing double that established a daunting and early 8-0 lead. Barry matched his season-high (four) in the RBI column with one coming off an opposite field, solo homer. He extended his hitting streak to twelve games. Tucker hit safely for the fourth game in a row.
Blaine Traxel collected his seventh win of the season on the mound in an eight-inning masterclass. Traxel did not surrender his first run until the seventh inning, and he allowed six hits while walking just one Red Raider. He fell one inning short of his sixth complete game of the year.
“Every time I come out, I want to pitch the whole game,” Traxel said. “It’s always a fight every time [Mazey] tells me I’m done. If I feel good, I’ll fight him, but if not, I’ll let it go. [Mazey] knew it was going to be a little bit of a battle.”
The rubber match of the WVU-Texas Tech series is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday in Granville. Robby Porco (4-1, 7.60 ERA) is expected to start on the mound for the Mountaineers, while Texas Tech has not announced a starter.
“A few minutes ago, [Texas Tech was] down by 15, but in their next at-bats [Sunday], it’ll be a tie game,” Mazey said.