WVU Release West Virginia Cruises in K-State Series Opener

Keenan Cummings

Fact Based and Wonderful
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Sep 16, 2007
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West Virginia Cruises in K-State Series Opener

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (May 19, 2022) – The West Virginia University baseball team used 15 hits to help it take down Kansas State, 15-4, on Thursday night at Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark.

WVU (31-20, 12-10 Big 12) took an early lead and never let go of it, earning the series-opening victory in the Big 12 Conference, three-game set. The Mountaineers scored two in the first, five in the third, one in the fifth and seven in the eighth in the lopsided affair.

Junior right-handed pitcher Jacob Watters earned the win, his third of the year, while Blake Adams took the loss for K-State (27-25, 8-14 Big 12).

“There’s no such thing as a blowout game that isn’t followed by a dogfight,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “(Kansas State) is going to have a lot of energy (on Friday), and we can’t fall into the trap of being overconfident at this point.”

After Watters retired the Wildcats in order in the top of the first inning, the Mountaineers struck for two runs in the bottom half to take the lead. Freshman infielder JJ Wetherholt socked a two-run homer to give WVU a 2-0 advantage. It marked his fourth big fly of the spring.

From there, West Virginia took complete control with a five-run third. First, sophomore catcher McGwire Holbrook hit a bases-clearing, three-RBI double, before redshirt junior catcher/infielder Dayne Leonard brought two more runs home on a base hit up the middle.

WVU led, 7-0, after three innings.

K-State got on the board for the first time in the fifth, scoring a pair of runs to cut its deficit to 7-2. But in the bottom half, Leonard was at it again, smacking an RBI single up to middle to push the lead back to six.

The Spring Green, Wisconsin, native finished 2-for-4 with three RBI on the night.

The Wildcats scored a run in top of the seventh and loaded the bases in the eighth in hopes of putting together a late-inning, comeback bid. However, fifth-year senior right-hander Chase Smith recorded an inning-ending strikeout to halt the threat.

Moments later, WVU erupted with seven runs in the bottom half to put the game out of reach. Senior outfielder Austin Davis, Wetherholt and junior outfielder Victor Scott II all collected RBI singles, before sophomore outfielder Braden Barry plated another run with a fielder’s choice.

The final blow came off the bat of junior outfielder/left-handed pitcher Kevin Dowdell, who pounded a pinch-hit, three-run homer.

Wetherholt led the way offensively with a three-hit night. The Mars, Pennsylvania, native also scored three runs and drove in three more. He was one of five Mountaineers to finish with multiple hits in the win.

On the mound, Watters allowed two runs on four hits with three strikeouts and five walks in five innings of work. Following his exit, sophomore right-hander Carlson Reed pitched 2.2 innings of relief, before Smith’s big stop in the eighth. Additionally, freshman right-hander Will Watson worked the ninth inning.

With the win, WVU moved to 15-5 in games following a loss this season. It also marked the fourth time the club has scored at least 15 runs in a game this season.

Next up, the two squads meet in the middle game of the series on Friday night in Morgantown. First pitch at Monongalia County Ballpark is set for 6:30 p.m. ET.