West Virginia Edge YSU 7-6 in Back-and-Forth Battle

Kevin Hix | Photo by Ron Stevens
Kevin Hix | Photo by Ron Stevens

West Virginia scored the go-ahead run with two outs in the ninth and overcame six errors to edge the Youngstown State baseball team 7-6 on a chilly Wednesday evening at Eastwood Field.

The teams went back-and-forth all night, and the largest lead of the contest was one run. West Virginia held leads of 1-0, 3-2, 4-3 and 7-6, and YSU led 2-1 and 5-4.

Marcus Heath was 2-for-2 with an RBI before being lifted for pinch-runner Kevin Hix in the fourth inning, and Hix proceeded to have an RBI double and make a highlight-reel catch in foul territory. The other eight spots in YSU's lineup combined for three hits, but the Penguins capitalized on six Mountaineers errors.

West Virginia's seven runs came on 12 hits, and Brady Wilson and Jacob Rice had three apiece. Wilson also had three steals in the game that helped him score three runs. Wilson drew a one-out walk in the first, then proceeded to steal second and third and score on Ryan McBroom's sacrifice fly. He led off the ninth with a single, stole second on a strike three that accounted for the second out and scored Rice' seeing-eye single.

Mike Accardi reached on an error and went to third on another in the first, and he scored the tying run on Josh White's ground out. Phil Lipari then reached on a dropped fly ball with one out in the fourth and scored on Heath's two-out single to put the Penguins up 2-1. The teams proceeded to score in each of the next six half innings.

West Virginia went ahead 3-2 with two runs in the top of the fifth with the help of a hit-and-run that eliminated a possible double play, and Drew Dosch singled in Accardi in the bottom of the fifth to knot the score at 3-3. After WVU took a 4-3 lead in the sixth, thanks in part to a double that was lost in the lights, Youngstown State scored two runs on one hit and two errors in the bottom half to go ahead 5-4. A walk, error and bunt single loaded the bases with nobody out, and both runs came in on a fielder's choice hit by Accardi when McBroom threw wide from first trying to start a double play at second.

WVU's Ryan Tuntland tied the score in the seventh with an RBI single, and the go-ahead run came in on a bases-loaded balk. Hix then tied the score with a two-out double that brought in Nick DiNello in the bottom of the seventh.

The Penguins left the bases loaded in the eighth, and they had the tying run on base in the ninth.

YSU starter Jared Wight allowed one run on two hits and two walks while striking out three batters in four innings. Five runs were charged to Patrick O'Brien, and Nic Manuppelli allowed the run in the ninth in dropping to 0-2. Brock Dykxhoorn surrendered three unearned runs in 4.1 innings for WVU, and YSU's other three runs came off Ryan Tezak. Pascal Paul came on with two outs in the eighth and earned the win.

Youngstown State will play Alderson-Broaddus on Friday at 3 p.m. at Cene Park.