The West Virginia Mountaineers avoided a three-game sweep on Sunday with a dominant, 8-4, win over the Baylor Bears in Waco, Texas, to earn their first win since April 1.
West Virginia (12-14, 4-5 Big 12) ended its five-game skid behind an outstanding outing from freshman left-hander Ben Hampton (3-0). Hampton remained undefeated as he allowed four hits, three runs and struck out four batters in 6.2 innings on the mound.
The first inning was not ideal for the Mountaineers as their first three batters were retired to send the game into the home-half of the first. Baylor’s (21-11, 3-6 Big 12) afternoon began with a single and a double on back-to-back at-bats to set up an early scoring opportunity.
Baylor’s Tre Richardson scored the first run on a sacrifice fly to right field. Andy Thomas also hit a sacrifice fly to score the second run of the inning to make it 2-0. The inning ended with a strikeout to finish off the Bears.
Neither team managed a run over the next two innings as West Virginia only had one hit as a team heading into the bottom half of the fourth inning. The bottom of the fourth inning began with a groundout by Richardson, but back-to-back walks for the Bears set up Davion Downey with an opportunity to add to the tally.
Downey doubled to right field that looked like it was a definite two RBI hit, but Cade Currington was tagged out at home. Thomas scored to make it 3-0.
Heading to the fifth inning, West Virginia needed a spark and it got it. Over the final five innings, the Mountaineers scored eight runs which included three runs each in the fifth and sixth inning.
The fifth inning began with back-to-back singles and a reach on a fielder’s choice for Kevin Brophy to load the bases with no one out as Austin Davis stepped into the batter’s box. Davis popped out but that was followed by a single by Tyler Doanes to score two runs and close the deficit to one, at 3-2.
Following a walk by Mikey Kluska to load the bases once again, Victor Scott hit a sacrifice fly to score Brophy and tie the game at 3-3. Hunter Byorick ended the inning with a strikeout.
In the sixth inning, the Mountaineers didn’t slow down with another three runs. Paul McIntosh led-off the inning with a single and then moved into scoring position by a throwing error. Vince Ippolito scored McIntosh on a single to take the lead for WVU. Matt McCormick followed that up with a two-run home run to extend West Virginia’s lead to 6-3.
The inning ended with back-to-back strikeouts and a groundout by Doanes.
In the final innings, West Virginia added two more runs to finish the Bears off, 8-4. As a team, WVU finished with 10 hits and no errors. In relief, right-hander Noah Short pitched 2.1 innings and allowed only two hits and one run.
West Virginia will return to Monongalia County Ballpark to face the Marshall Thundering Herd on Wednesday. In a meeting earlier this season, Marshall defeated WVU, 7-1, on March 23. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. on ESPN+.