WILMINGTON, N.C. — West Virginia’s coast-to-coast nonconference tour has primarily featured stellar pitching.
Sunday was the exception.
The Mountaineers wiped out an early six-run deficit only to see its bullpen cough up the lead in a 13-10 loss at UNC Wilmington.
Though its 14 hits weren’t enough to salvage the rubber game of a weekend series, West Virginia (12-8) can finally look forward to playing its first home game of the season, scheduled for Tuesday against Pitt.
The Mountaineers were led by second baseman Billy Fleming’s four-hit performance and Shaun Wood’s career-best four RBIs. Taylor Munden, Jacob Rice and Wood had two hits each while Rice and Ryan McBroom drove in two runs.
WVU jumped out to a 3-0 first-inning lead, but the pitching couldn’t keep pace. Senior left-hander Zach Bargeron exited after 1 2/3 innings, charged with six runs on five hits and three hit batters.
Reliver Pascal Paul struggled to stop the bleeding as UNC Wilmington (11-11) stretched the lead to 9-3. That’s where it stood when the Mountaineers rallied for five runs in the fifth, chasing Seahawks starter Nick Monroe, who allowed eight runs, seven earned, on 10 hits with three walks. Woods’ three-run homer was the key blow.
Rice’s second double of the game, a two-run to left-center, put the Mountaineers ahead 10-9 in the top of the sixth.
But the Seahawks retook the lead for good on Corey Dick’s mammoth two-run homer to center field against Corey Walter (0-3). The Seahawks added a pair of runs in the seventh.
WVU’s pitchers allowed 16 hits and three walks.
Will Shepley (1-0) claimed the win after throwing three scoreless innings. Kelly Secrest picked up his first save of the year after entering with a runner on and no outs in the ninth.