MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Sophomore shortstop Taylor Munden hit his first collegiate homer and finished a single shy of the cycle as the West Virginia baseball team ended a three-game losing skid with a 5-1 victory over Youngstown State on Wednesday evening at Hawley Field.
Munden raised his average from .184 to .207 with his 3-for-5 day. His three extra-base hits were startling considering he had only two in his first 30 games.
The win gave WVU a 2-1 advantage in the season series that will conclude at Youngstown State on April 24.
Ryan Tuntland notched his sixth three-hit game of the season for the Mountaineers (18-16), keying a 12-hit attack. The Penguins (9-23) managed only five hits.
WVU freshman Brock Dykxhoorn (2-0) lowered his ERA to 1.23 by pitching six innings and allowing only three hits. Two of those came in the fifth when Youngstown State used doubles from Drew Dosch and Neil Schroth to even the game at 1-all.
But Munden, who homered in the first inning, led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple and scored on Bobby Boyd’s groundout.
Youngstown State’s Russ Harless (0-1) gave up two runs on seven hits in six innings.
WVU extended the lead to 4-1 in the seventh on Matt Frazer’s two-run, bases-loaded pinch-hit single.
Munden’s double came in the bottom of the eighth on a liner down the left-field line that scored Billy Fleming.
Juniors Ryan Tezak, Corey Holmes and Pascal Paul each pitched in relief for WVU, which has a three-game nonconference series at Liberty Friday through Sunday.
Game 1 is set to begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, Game 2 at 4 p.m. on Saturday and the finale at 2 p.m. Sunday. All three games will be broadcast live on ESPN3.com.