West Virginia baseball bounced back on Sunday to take its second win of the season over Georgia State, 3-2, after dropping two legs of a double-header on Saturday.
The Mountaineers (2-2) recouped their pitching woes from a day prior, and put together a strong showing on the mound against the Panthers (2-2), allowing just five hits all contest.
Georgia State struggled on defense, and were punished for it early. After WVU first baseman Matt McCormick doubled to open the second inning, Dominic Ragazzo sent him to third after he made base on a throwing error from shortstop Will Mize. A wild pitch on the ensuing at-bat sent McCormick over the plate for the first run of the game.
The Panthers answered in the third. Left-fielder Josh Smith led the side off with a double, and was worked home after a pair of ground outs. GSU then took the lead in the fourth as WVU starter Tyler Stretchay began to tire, giving up a pair of hits (including an RBI single from Ashby Smith), and a wild pitch to put a man in scoring position.
Stretchay got himself out of the pinch with his second strikeout of the game before getting relieved by freshman lefty Ben Hampton in the fifth.
The Mountaineers recaptured the lead in the sixth inning when they took advantage of faltering righty Dylan Matela, who opened the inning by hitting WVU catcher Paul McIntosh on the first toss of the side. Soon enough, McIntosh was on third base after Mountaineer center fielder Victor Scott reached first on a fielder’s choice. Scott then stole second and forced an error by the catcher, allowing McIntosh to score.
Scott crossed the plate on the next pitch off of an RBI bunt single from shortstop Mikey Kluska, putting WVU ahead by a run.
Hampton stayed on the mound for WVU through the seventh inning and allowed just a single hit in 3.0 innings pitched, while striking out two and walking one. Zach Ottinger and Jacob Watters stepped to the rubber in the eighth and ninth, respectively, and closed out the game without allowing another hit. That performance was good enough to give Hampton the win, his first of the year, and Watters the save.
Matela was scored with the loss for GSU.
West Virginia improves its record to 2-2 on the season with the victory, and will head to Coastal Carolina for the CCU Baseball Tournament from Friday through Sunday. They open the event with a matchup against Kennesaw State, then go on to face Coastal Carolina and Bryant to finish out the weekend.