MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Even though Sean Carley surrendered his first earned runs of the season, he was far more enthused about winning his first game at West Virginia.
The big right-hander navigated seven innings and the Mountaineers beat host Coastal Carolina 6-2 at the Caravelle Resort Tournament on Saturday.
West Virginia (4-4) won for the second straight day at the tourney, fueled by Jacob Rice’s three-hit performance and four Coastal Carolina errors.
Making his third start of the young season, Carley (1-0) finally lost his spotless ERA after 15 1/3 innings when Nick Oberg belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the third. But that was all the damage Carley allowed, striking out five and working around six hits and two walks during a 104-pitch outing.
“It feels great,” said Carley, whose ERA climbed to 0.90. “I didn’t have my best stuff but I found a way to grind it out.”
Randy Mazey sounded more impressed by Carley’s workmanlike performance than he did when the Air Force transfer fanned nine in a more dominant no-decision against at San Diego State last week.
“The real Sean showed up today—the guy that competes all of the time and is high energy because he really had to grind this one out and he did that,” Mazey said.
Two-out singles by Rice and Bobby Boyd gave the Mountaineers a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Boyd made it 3-0 in the second inning—hustling around from first base after a wild pick-off throw by Tyler Herb (0-3) and another errant throw by first baseman Connor Owings. The Mountaineers touched Herb for four runs on eight hits and four walks in four-plus innings.
In the fifth, Justin Fox was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, but reliever Chase Adkins came on to negate the threat with three straight groundouts.
West Virginia tacked on two runs in the sixth as Bobby Boyd hit a leadoff single and later scored on Rice’s double-play. Billy Fleming, who had two hits but saw his average drop to .452, raced home to make it 6-2 after reliever Austin Kerr threw wildly on another pickoff try.
“We didn’t smash the ball all over the field, but they walked us six times, we didn’t strike out much, we put the ball in play and they made four errors,” Mazey said. “We used our speed—we had four stolen bases—so it’s good as a coach to know you can score different ways.”
West Virginia’s Ryan McBroom saw his seven-game, season-opening hit streak end, but leadoff batter Taylor Munden and designated hitter Jackson Cramer also had two hits each to pick up the slack.
Ross Vance pitched two scoreless innings to close out Coastal Carolina (3-6), which was the preseason favorite in the Big South.
The tournament concludes Sunday at 1:30 p.m. with WVU left-hander John Means (1-1) facing off against James Madison and right-hander Chris Huffman (2-0).