Although two of the Big 12 Conference’s pitching leaders — Alek Manoah of WVU and Nick Lodolo of TCU — ascended the mound at Monongalia County Ballpark on Friday evening, it was offense that played the largest factor in the game’s result.
Despite getting on the board early, the No. 17 West Virginia baseball team was defeated as the Horned Frogs emerged victorious in a 14-5 drubbing of the Mountaineers.
TCU senior outfielder Johnny Rizer played a big part in the Horned Frogs’ offense as he ended the night having gone 3-for-6 at the plate with two home runs and four runs batted in.
Rizer connected on his first home run in the fifth inning after junior catcher Zach Humphreys drove in an RBI single in the fourth. The TCU offensive spark countered a three-run home run by WVU senior outfielder Darius Hill in the first inning.
TCU (25-19, 7-9 Big 12) added two more runs in the sixth after junior infielder Jake Guenther connected on an RBI single while a WVU throwing error on the same play brought home the second score.
In the top of the seventh inning, after Rizer hit his second homer of the game, WVU head coach Randy Mazey pulled Manoah and went to his bullpen. Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, the offensive onslaught from the Horned Frogs continued.
With the bases loaded, Humphreys brought home another two runs with a single to center field. He ended the night having gone 2-for-4 at the plate with three runs batted in.
At the conclusion of the top of the seventh, TCU had added 10 runs in the inning, ballooning their lead from one to 11.
West Virginia (27-18, 10-9 Big 12) put up next to no fight offensively for the rest of the game. Despite an RBI single by junior outfielder Brandon White in the seventh and a solo homer from senior infielder Andrew Zitel, they were unable to fully close the gap.
Manoah, who entered the game ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 in strikeouts and earned run average, earned his third loss of the season while Lodolo, who was ranked as No. 2 in strikeouts and No. 3 in ERA prior to the game, picked up the win.
The Mountaineers continue their series against TCU this weekend. First pitch is slated for noon on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.