West Virginia scored first, but it wasn’t quite enough as the Mountaineers opened its home schedule with a 5-3 loss to Central Michigan on Friday.
This was the first game in over a week for West Virginia after taking a seven-day pause due to COVID-19 parameters from the Big 12. It was apparent that the Mountaineers had been away from the diamond as they took some time to find their rhythm. As the team shut down and
“I don’t want to focus on [the pause] too much because it’s just the reality, and I don’t think we’re the only team in the country that’s had to overcome some adversity or some obstacles,” said WVU assistant coach Steve Sabins, who filled in for skipper Randy Mazey as he was away from the dugout for personal reasons.
After 12 straight outs for both teams to start the game, WVU first baseman Matt McCormick put the first runs on the board in the bottom of the third with a 2-RBI double down the right field.
Central Michigan answered in the next side with a 3-run fourth inning, adding a pair of runs in the sixth and eighth innings to round out their scoring total for the day — all while keeping WVU scoreless in that stretch.
West Virginia made another run in the bottom of the ninth when McCormick struck again with a home run into the left field bullpen — but subsequent efforts proved unsuccessful for the Mountaineers.
“I think our team has been really resilient,” Sabins said. “We’ve been in a lot of situations this year where it’s been a little bit ugly, it’s like we can’t quite get things going we’re working , we’re mustering it up, and the guys just stay tough, and that ninth inning is just another example.”
McCormick finished the game
Jackson Wolf (1-1) started for WVU and earned his first loss of the season, lasting 5.0 innings allowing four runs (three of which were earned). He added five strikeouts and five walks, as Sabins said the lefty took a couple of innings to get the command back of his pitches.
Jordan Patty (1-0) had a strong showing for CMU, earning a win in a 7-inning quality start.
“He was really good, and unusually, he probably threw 90-95 percent fastballs today…He’s got a pretty special fastball,” Sabins said.
West Virginia gets a double-chance at revenge on Saturday when they take on the Chippewas in a double-header to finish out the three-game series. The first game gets started at 11 a.m. on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.