WILMINGTON, N.C. — Casey Golden’s high-bouncing chopper in front of the plate scored the winning run with two outs in the 10th as UNC-Wilmington edged West Virginia 2-1 on Friday.
In the opener of a three-game series, the Mountaineers (11-7) couldn’t capitalize on a dazzling performance by left-hander Harrison Musgrave, who struck out seven and scattered five hits over nine innings in a no-decision. Musgrave allowed only a first-inning run and retired 26 of the 32 batters he faced.
UNC Wilmington left-hander Mat Batts was equally as impressive, firing eight innings and allowing one run on four hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
WVU reliever Pascal Paul (0-1) came on in the 10th inning and surrendered a leadoff single to Drew Farber. After a sac bunt moved pinch-runner Andy Austin to second, Pascal walked Terence Connelly with one out. Josh Abshire’s ensuing single could have win it, but West Virginia right fielder Michael Constantini gunned down Austin at the plate.
With runners on second and third, Golden chopped a ball that bounced so high Paul was unable to make a play on the ball as Connelly raced across with the winning run.
The Mountaineers were just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. No opportunity hurt worse than one they squandered in the top of the ninth, when Billy Fleming and Ryan McBroom led off with singles only to remain stranded by reliever Kelly Secrest (5-1).
Taylor Munden’s two-out bloop single drove in WVU’s game-tying run in the top of the eighth.
The teams return to action for game two on Saturday at 2 p.m. A pair of right-handers will see the mound with junior Sean Carley going for WVU and Jordan Ramsey will get the start for the Seahawks (10-10).