PITTSBURGH — West Virginia starting pitcher Nick Snyder ascended the mound at PNC Park on Tuesday night and delivered a performance that was all-too familiar to the Mountaineers this season.
En route to a 9-4 win over the rival Pitt Panthers, the left-hander gave up only one run on three hits while walking two and striking out 11 in his seven innings of work.
“We’ve always preached and talked about pitching and defense,” Pitt head coach Mike Bell said postgame. “Mr. [Nick] Snyder has done a great job for them [WVU] all year in the midweeks. He was outstanding again today... he was the ballgame.”
The lone run for the Panthers came in the top of the second inning when junior outfielder Nick Popa homered to left field. After that at-bat, no Pitt baserunner was able to make it past second base for the rest of the game.
In fact, following the lone blemish, Snyder allowed only five more Panthers on base for the rest of the game.
“I think it’s important to take things a day at a time,” Snyder said. “I’m routine-driven so I plan my days out ahead of time. Being able to see a few days in advance — knowing what I have to do on any given day — has been really vital to my success so far.”
By picking up his eighth win of the season, Snyder, who entered the game tied for the team lead in pitching wins, also became the wins leader of the Big 12 Conference.
His 13th appearance of the season, it was the seventh start by Snyder in which he gave up four or fewer hits.
The role that Snyder has played within the West Virginia pitching staff has helped to place the Mountaineers on the verge of a berth in the NCAA Regionals.
“He’s not just winning the midweek games for us,” WVU head coach Randy Mazey said. “He helps us win on the weekends when he doesn’t pitch by winning the midweek games because we go into every weekend with a ton of confidence.”