JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 7, 2015) – West Virginia scored runs in each of the first six innings and red-shirt junior left-hander Ross Vance tossed five scoreless frames as the Mountaineers cruised to an 18-2 series-clinching win over ETSU on Saturday afternoon at Thomas Stadium.
The Mountaineers, who nipped the Blue and Gold by a run in extra-innings on Friday, came out firing on all cylinders and ETSU couldn’t stop the blitzkrieg.
Seven of West Virginia’s 20 hits went for extra bases, including four home runs and two from senior shortstop Taylor Munden. Muden, the Mountaineers’ top hitter, went 2 for 5 with two RBI and three runs scored, while senior catcher Cam O’Brien and red-shirt sophomore designated hitter Garrett Hope combined for five hits, five runs and nine RBI. Hope recorded a grand slam in a six-run sixth inning and also doubled and scored in a four-run fifth.
Vance (2-1) held the Bucs to one hit and struck out seven in his five innings of work, while sophomore right-hander Jackson Sigman and freshman righty Shane Ennis each tossed a scoreless inning in relief.
Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) and Aaron Maher (Brentwood, Tenn.) combined for four of ETSU’s five hits, while Nathan Millsap (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Andrew Lasure (Stanford, Ky.) posted the RBIs in the two-run eighth inning. Phillips went 2 for 4 and scored a run, while Maher – who entered the game in the seventh – posted hits in his two at-bats. Junior Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) had his hit streak snapped at 11 games, but he has still reached base safely in all 12 games after working a fourth-inning walk.
Junior right hander Lee Haeberle (Hendersonville, Tenn.) suffered his second straight loss (2-2) after he was tagged for nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits in 4.1 innings of work. Junior Josh Jacques (Rollinsford, N.H.) and sophomore Connor Bartow (Jonesborough, Tenn.) were the only Buccaneer relievers to register scoreless appearances. Jacques – who hasn’t allowed a run in his three outings this season – tossed 1.1 scoreless innings and struck out three, while Bartow held West Virginia without a run in the eighth.
The Mountaineers got all the offense they needed in the first two innings as West Virginia plated a run in the first and three more in the second, but the visitors kept piling it on over the next four frames en route to building a 17-0 lead before the Bucs plated their two runs in the eighth.
The 18 runs allowed by the Blue and Gold were the most since surrendering 21 to then-No. 11 Arizona in April of 2012, while the 20 hits were the most since FGCU finished with 21 last May.
ETSU suffered its third straight loss with the setback and dipped to 7-5, while the Mountaineers moved to 6-6.
The series finale is set for 1:05 p.m. on Sunday as junior right-hander Griffin Krieg (Nashville, Tenn.) goes to the hill for the Bucs and West Virginia counters with sophomore righty Chad Donato.
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