BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — After surrendering the tying run in the ninth, Braden Zarbnisky made amends with an RBI single in the 10th that culminated a 5-for-5 day in West Virginia’s 11-9 win over Western Kentucky
Every starter had a hit as the Mountaineers (4-5) collected 15 overall. They blasted a season-high four homers, two by Kyle Gay, to clinch the series, which concludes Sunday.
“I thought we were locked in from the first inning of the game,” West Virginia coach Randy Mazey said. “They threw some pretty good arms at us, but I thought our approach was really good. Just about everyone in the lineup is seeing the ball pretty well right now.”
Zarbnisky (1-0) started the game in left field and moved took the mound in the ninth leading 9-8. He gave up a game-tying sacrifice fly but responded in extras with a go-ahead single after Brandon White walked and stole second. Zarbnisky later scored an insurance run and pitched a scoreless bottom of the 10th to secure the victory.
“That’s just Zarb: He had five hits today and got the win on the mound,” Mazey said. “That’s why he’s one of the best two-way players in the nation. He’s a little bit slow getting going on the mound right now, but he’ll get back into it. Having him at the top of the lineup really changes the complexion of the team.”
Catcher Chase Illig and first baseman Kevin Brophy also homered for West Virginia.
The Mountaineers staked starter Alek Manoah to 5-0 lead but he let with a no-decision after WKU struck for four runs in the fourth.