West Virginia took No. 14 Louisville to the brink Friday before seeing its opening day upset bid fall short, losing 7-6 in ten innings.
Junior left-handed pitcher Harrison Musgrave cruised through the first four innings but faltered in the fifth and sixth. Musgrave left the game after 5.1 innings of work, giving up four hits and four runs, three of which were earned, and striking out seven hitters.
The Mountaineers led Louisville 6-4 after seven innings, but the Cardinals struck for two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the game.
Neither team scored in the ninth inning, which sent the game to extra innings. Senior left fielder Jeff Gardner hit a walk-off home run off West Virginia’s Corey Walter to send Louisville home with a season-opening 7-6 victory in the bottom of the tenth inning.
Senior first baseman Ryan McBroom kicked off his final season in a West Virginia uniform with a bang, going 3-for-5 at the plate with a home run and three RBIs in the losing effort.
“I was really proud of our guys and how they came out today,” said head coach Randy Mazey. “We came out aggressive at the plate. Harrison (Musgrave) really battled on the mound.”
Mazey said he was impressed with the way his team fought against a top-15 opponent.
“(Louisville) is not down at all from (2013). It’s a really good team, and I thought if you were a fan or if you were anybody watching this game, those were two pretty evenly matched teams,” Mazey said.
A fresh face took the mound for West Virginia against Delaware Saturday.
Redshirt junior Sean Carley pitched six innings, struck out five batters and gave up just two hits in his first start since sitting out all of the 2013 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Carley left the game with a 1-0 lead after six innings, but the bullpen wasn’t able to hold the lead. The Blue Hens scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning and didn’t relinquish the lead since that point.
After dropping their first two games of the weekend, the Mountaineers avoided a winless road trip and bounced back in a big way Sunday.
Junior pitcher John Means took the mound for West Virginia Sunday against The Citadel. The left-hander pitched six innings and gave up one earned run on five hits while striking out three batters in the Mountaineers’ 10-2 win.
West Virginia’s offense was able to do some damage with the long ball Sunday, as catcher Cam O’Brien and McBroom each had a home run in the victory.
Junior second baseman Billy Fleming went 4-for-5 from the plate and stole two bases for the Mountaineers.
The Mountaineers continue their season opening road trip when they travel to take on the San Diego State Aztecs for a three-game series starting Saturday.