RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Freshman right fielder Shaun Wood hit his first college home run and John Means pitched six shutout innings before the West Virginia bullpen allowed things to get interesting in a 7-4 victory over UC-Riverside on Sunday night.
In winning their sixth straight game to improve to 8-4, the Mountaineers built a 6-0 lead and seemed to be coasting when Means (3-1) departed after throwing just 74 pitches. The junior left-hander recorded six strikeouts and allowed one walk and one hit.
First baseman Ryan McBroom knocked in his 17th RBI on a first-inning single that scored Bobby Boyd. It marked the 11th time in 12 games that WVU scored first.
West Virginia struck for four runs in the fourth as Wood hit a two-run shot to right field. Taylor Munden and Boyd then drove in a pair of two-out runs to make it 5-0.
Jacob Rice’s two-out seventh-inning stretched the lead to 6-0 by scoring Boyd.
Seniors Zach Bargeron, Ryan Tezak, and Joby Lapkowicz relieved Means before Corey Walter picked his second save with a perfect ninth inning.
Billy Fleming scored an insurance run in the top of the ninth following a double steal and an errant throw at third base.
UC-Riverside starter Mitch Patito (0-1) left after only one inning as the Highlanders used six pitchers in the losing effort.
West Virginia continues its West Coast swing at UNLV on Tuesday night.