Baseball Marshall 3-28-23

Freshman pitcher Cole Fehrman prepares to pitch against Marshall at Monongalia County Ballpark on March 28, 2023.

The No. 24-ranked West Virginia University baseball team opened up conference play Friday with a bang, beating the Kansas State Wildcats on the road, 8-3, at the Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas.

WVU (20-6, 1-0 Big 12) was able to grab its initial conference victory in its first attempt, with a chance to win the series against its conference adversaries tomorrow.

The night belonged to redshirt senior right fielder Caleb McNeely and sophomore second baseman JJ Wetherholt, who had four and three hits on the night, respectively.

McNeely’s incredible night at the plate resulted in him hitting for the cycle, the first by a WVU player since 2014, and the fourth all-time in 128 years. 

K-State jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on the backs of two solo home runs by center fielder Brendan Jones and third baseman Kaelen Culpepper.

McNeely started his big night with an opposite field home run in the second inning, to cut the K-State lead to 2-1. It was McNeely’s fifth home run this season.

Later in the inning, sophomore first baseman Grant Hussey doubled, bringing in third baseman Ellis Garcia.

In the third, the Mountaineers would score again and never looked back. McNeely drove in Wetherholt with a single, giving West Virginia its first lead of the night, 3-2.

The fifth inning brought in two more runs for the Blue and Gold, with McNeely yet again bringing in another run, this time on an RBI double to plate junior center fielder Braden Berry.

Graduate student Dayne Leonard would score through the back door on a freshman Sam White groundout to second. After five innings, West Virginia led KSU, 5-2.

Wetherholt continued his magnificent start to the season with a two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning. Graduate student shortstop Tevin Tucker would score on Wetherholt’s seventh roundtripper of the season.

KSU tacked on its third and final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth, as right fielder Cash Rugely walked with the bases loaded, forcing home a run.

WVU added one more run of their own in the eighth, as Hussey stroked an opposite field home run, as the Parkersburg native hit his fourth home run of the year.

Junior left-hander Ben Hampton (2-0) was the starting and winning pitcher Friday evening for West Virginia. He went 6.2 innings, giving up three earned runs, five hits, striking out 10 batters and walking four.

Right-handers Carlson Reed, a junior, and Noah Short, a graduate student, made appearances for the Mountaineers, with Reed going two innings, and Short going 0.1 innings. Both pitchers did not give up a run in their stints on the mound.

Left-hander Owen Boerama (4-1), KSU’s starting pitcher, took the loss, his first of the year. He pitched six innings, and gave up seven earned runs on 10 hits. He struck out six batters and walked one.

The two teams will face off again for game two of the three-game series on Saturday, April 1, at Tointon Family Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. with streaming available on ESPN+.


Jonathan Hamilton Jr. is a sports writer for the Daily Athenaeum. He is an avid sports fan, and played sports growing up. He hopes to be a sports broadcaster someday. Jonathan is excited to write for the DA.