Mar. 11, 2020 - Redshirt Sophomore Vince Ippoliti takes a water break when playing Liberty at Monongalia County Ballpark

Mar. 11, 2020 - Redshirt sophomore Vince Ippoliti takes a water break when playing Liberty at Monongalia County Ballpark

No. 14 West Virginia started its season Friday with a 5-3 extra-inning victory over Georgia State. In the tenth inning, a Vince Ippoliti home run scored two for the Mountaineers then a three-up-three down bottom of the tenth ended the game. 

In the first inning, a bases-loaded walk from Jackson Wolf gave Georgia State (0-1) an early 1-0 lead. Wolf then struck out the next batter to end the inning. 

Matt McCormick was the leadoff hitter for WVU (1-0) in the second inning and he sent a ball out of the park in his first at-bat. The next three Mountaineers struck out, keeping the score at 1-1. 

With the score still tied in the bottom of the third inning, the Panthers' Griffin Cheney reached on a throwing error by Kevin Brophy. After Cheney advanced to second, a single from Will Mize scored Cheney and GSU retook the lead. 

After a double play in the fourth inning, Matt McCormick reached first on a two-out bunt. Then a Paul McIntosh double scored McCormick bringing the score to 2-2.

The top of the sixth inning began with a pitching change for Georgia State. Ryan Watson took the mound as Tyler Koch's afternoon was over.

Koch started his day off by giving up back-to-back singles from Hudson Byorick and Tyler Doanes. Koch then hit Ippoliti with a pitch loading the bases. 

Koch was able to strike out McCormick but then with one out and the bases loaded, the Panthers made another pitching change. This time bringing in Joseph Brandon. Brandon walked his first batter, McIntosh, which led to a run scoring for the Mountaineers, back-to-back popouts got GSU out of the jam with only one run given up. 

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Georgia State scored on a two-out single from Branson Bowling. The RBI single tied the game up at three. 

West Virginia was unable to score in the top of the ninth, as the game would go to the bottom of the ninth still tied up at three. 

Kyle Riesselmann hit a ground ball to Doanes, but a throwing error put Riesselmann in scoring position with only one out in the bottom of the ninth. WVU head coach Randy Mazey then made a pitching change, taking Skylar Gonzalez out and putting Madison Jeffrey in. Jeffrey struck out the next two batters and sent the game into extra innings. 

After a groundout to start the tenth inning, Doanes hit a single to left field. Then Ippoliti hit a home run giving West Virginia a two-run lead. The Panthers were unable to score in the tenth giving the Mountaineers a 5-3 victory. 

The two teams will play again Saturday at 1 p.m. as the first part of a double-header. The second game will begin at 5 p.m.

Asst. Sports Editor

Born in Cleveland, Ohio and attending WVU, I study sports journalism. I worked with U92 sports talk radio, the WVU football team video crew. I currently write for DA sports along with co-hosting the DA sports podcast.