The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

March 29, 2014

WVU opens Big 12 with walk-off victory

CHARLESTON — A walk-off double to center field by freshman designated hitter Jackson Cramer in the 12th inning led the WVU baseball team to an 8-7 victory over Baylor on Friday afternoon at Appalachian Power Park.

“We were at the bottom of the lineup and even if he bunts him over, you’re not sure if you’re going to win the game with the guys coming up,” coach Randy Mazey said. “He’s a big strong kid, give him a chance to win the game with one swing.”

Senior left fielder Jacob Rice led off the bottom of the 12th with a double off the left field wall and then scored as Cramer recorded his first career walk-off after previously entering the game as a pinch hitter.

The win in WVU’s opening Big 12 game gives the Mountaineers a 14-8 overall record. Baylor drops to 13-12 overall and 4-3 in Big 12 play.

West Virginia held a 7-2 lead entering the ninth inning, but Baylor sent it to extra innings as Ben Carl hit a game-tying two-run single to right-center field. The Mountaineer bullpen issued four walks and one hit by pitch in the frame.

“You can’t get so down that the kids in the dugout think the game is over,” Mazey said. “It’s still tied and the biggest out of the whole game was when they did tie it up and they still had second and third with two outs and we got a pop up to end the inning.”

Junior shortstop Taylor Munden and Rice each had three hits, junior designated hitter Max Nogay had a home run and four RBIs and Cramer and senior first baseman Ryan McBroom had two RBIs each.

West Virginia took the initial 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Munden and junior center fielder Bobby Boyd recorded back-to-back singles and were advanced by way of a sacrifice bunt by juniorsecond baseman Billy Fleming. McBroom then hit a single that was out of reach for the Baylor third baseman, scoring both runners.

Baylor’s Adam Toth cut the Mountaineer lead to 2-1 in the top of the second with a solo home run to right field, and a bases loaded RBI single to right center by Duncan Wendel in the top of the third tied the game at 2-2.

The Mountaineers loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the sixth and Nogay sent a grand slam home run over the left field fence, giving WVU a 6-2 go-ahead lead. Fleming drew a walk to leadoff, McBroom was hit by a pitch and Rice singled to center field to load the bases.

Following Nogay’s grand slam, West Virginia extended the lead to 7-2 after the Baylor pitching staff issued five-consecutive walks in the bottom of the seventh.

Junior left-hander Harrison Musgrave (3-1) battled throughout the afternoon and went seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits. Musgrave struck out five and issued a season-high four walks after entering the game with just four walks the entire season.

 Junior right-hander Michael Bennett (1-0) picked up his first win at West Virginia, giving up one hit in 3.1 innings of relief.Bennett struck out two and did not issue a walk.

 Baylor starter Brad Kuntz (4-0) took a no-decision, giving up seven runs on seven hits with one strikeout and five walks. The loss went to reliever Josh Michalec, who let up one run on three hits in three innings.

 Toth went 2-for-5 with two runs, Carl had two RBIs and Lawton Langford scored two runs.

 West Virginia and Baylor will be back in action on today at 4 p.m., at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston. The game will be video streamed on WVUsports.com, and the radio broadcast will be on select affiliates of the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG College.

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