SAN DIEGO — West Virginia left-hander John Means struck out the first batter he faced, but then his Sunday outing took a nosedive.
San Diego State struck for four early runs and chased Means after three innings, setting the stage for a 7-3 win that decided the three-game series at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
West Virginia (2-4) took Friday night’s opener 6-2 before losing 2-1 in 10 innings late Saturday. San Diego State (5-2) sapped all drama from the rubber game quickly, scoring runs in each of the first three innings as part of a 12-hit attack.
WVU finished with 10 hits, including two each from second baseman Billy Fleming, left fielder Jacob Rice and right fielder Shaun Wood.
Means (1-1), who did not allow an extra-base hit in his first start at The Citadel, surrendered four this time around—including first-inning doubles by Tim Zier and Ty France that staked the Aztecs to a 1-0 lead. With two walks in the inning, San Diego State had a chance at more, but Means induced bases-loaded groundout by Steven Pallares to limit the damage.
After the Aztecs generated a two-out rally in the second on Greg Allen’s triple and Tim Zier’s walk, Means could have escaped the inning unharmed. But Wood dropped a fly ball in right field and the lead swelled to 3-0.
France’s second double of the day started the bottom of the third, and Pallares brought him home two batters later with a groundout. That was it for Means, who threw 59 pitches (only 31 strikes) and allowed four runs, two earned. He surrendered four hits with three walks and one strikeout.
West Virginia cut the lead to 4-2 in the fourth by stringing together a lead-off single by Fleming, a double by Rice and back-to-back RBI singles by Wood and freshman designated hitter Jackson Cramer. Aztecs starter Mark Seyler (2-0) shutdown the comeback by inducing a double-play from Michael Constantini.
That was all the scoring WVU could manage against the sophomore Seyler, who fanned seven over seven innings of seven-hit pitching. That was huge improvement over his only previous college start in which he lasted one inning and allowed four runs to San Jose State.
West Virginia’s bullpen had mixed results. Ryan Tezak threw two scoreless innings but Michael Bennett was riddled for two runs on five hits while facing only seven batters. He surrendered France’s third double—a two-run blow to center—before departing in the seventh with WVU trailing 6-2.
Zacj Bargeron threw a scoreless inning for the Mountaineers, before Ross Vance surrendered a run in the eighth.
West Virginia first baseman Ryan McBroom had notched his team-leading 10th RBI with a sac-fly in the top of the eighth, when the Mountaineers eventually added two-out singles by Rice and Wood to bring the tying run to the plate trailing 6-3. But Aztecs closer Michael Cederoth squelched the threat by striking out Cramer before pitching a perfect ninth.
The Mountaineers return to action next weekend in Myrtle Beach, S.C., taking on Duke, Coastal Carolina and James Madison.