JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — West Virginia rallied from a three-run deficit only to lose 7-6 when North Florida countered with two runs in the bottom of the ninth Saturday.
Donnie Dewees tied it with a pinch-hit double and then scored on Joe Wielbruda’s walk-off single as the Ospreys beat reliever Pascal Paul and dropped WVU to 0-2. The their and final game of the series is Sunday at noon.
The Mountaineers, after being shut out in Friday’s opener, rebounded with 12 hits Saturday, including a two-out single by shortstop Michael Constantini that broke a 5-5 tie in the eighth.
“There is no way to go through an entire season without a game like this happening to you where you feel like you gave it away in the ninth inning,” coach Randy Mazey said. “Maybe today was just our day for it to happen.
“You have to pitch, play defense and get timely hits. Today we got the timely hits, but we had seven walks on the mound and three errors. It’s really hard to overcome that, no matter who you play. We’re going to keep grinding and our guys are going to stay positive and hopefully be a good team at the end of the year.”
Spencer Hermann earned the victory for North Florida (2-0), pitching 2 2/3 innings in relief off starter Kyle Westwood, who allowed five runs in 6 1/3 innings.
WVU tied the game a 5-all with a two-run fifth, using RBI singles from designated hitter Matt Frazer and second baseman Billy Fleming.
That got Mountaineers starter Harrison Musgrave off the hook. In his first game in almost two years, Musgrave earned a no-decision in four innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits. The left-hander struck out one, walked three and left with a 5-3 deficit.
UNF scored runs in each of the first three innings to take a 5-2 lead. An RBI single by Corbin Olmstead drove in Drew Weeks and the ball went under the glove of Boyd to score Ryan Roberson from first in the opening frame.