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Musgrave retires 20 straight Duke hitters, dazzles for 8 shutout innings

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Harrison Musgrave mowed down the first 20 batters he faced and struck out 12 over eight shutout innings to lift West Virginia over Duke 3-1 on Friday afternoon at the Caravelle Resort Tournament.

First baseman Ryan McBroom homered and drove in all three runs for the Mountaineers, who improved to 3-4 as they prepare to face Coastal Carolina and James Madison in tournament action this weekend.

Musgrave (2-0) certainly provided a brilliant start, taking a no-hitter into the seventh before Duke’s Mike Rosenfeld dropped a two-out bunt single down the third-base line. Leading 1-0, Musgrave stranded Rosenfeld by fanning the next batter.

“It was probably my best outing in a while,” said Musgrave, who lowered his season ERA to 2.33. “It’s very rare for me to have three pitches that work, so today was an unusual circumstance.”

After McBroom’s two-run homer made it 3-0 in the top of the eighth, Musgrave pitched around a double by Jordan Betts to finish strong. The junior left-hander and defending Big 12 pitcher of the year threw 72 of his 104 pitches for strikes.

“All of the good stuff he did last year, that might be the best I’ve ever seen him,” West Virginia coach Randy Mazey said. “His pitches are getting better, he’s really competing and he’s making great pitches when he needs to. There is nothing you can say above and beyond what he did today was outstanding.”

After walking one batter, Musgrave’s strikeout-to-walk ratio improved to 27-to-2 through three starts. But he had to sweat out the ninth after Duke loaded the bases with two singles and walk against Pascal Paul and Joby Lapkowicz. That’s when Mazey turned to closer Corey Walter, who allowed one run to score on a two-out infield single by Ryan Deitrich.

With the bases still jammed, Walter finally ended the game by coaxing a groundout to third.

“Any time you can beat a team that is in the ACC, it’s a big win,” Mazey said. “Early in the year we have been playing good, we just haven’t been winning. It’s nice to play well and win one.”

Duke’s Trent Swart (2-1) held West Virginia to one run on four hits over seven innings before reliever Conner Stevens surrendered Bobby Boyd’s infield single ahead of McBroom’s third homer in the eighth.

McBroom, who knocked in Taylor Munden with a third-inning groundout, has 13 RBIs so far, while no one else on the squad has more than two.

West Virginia returns to action on Saturday to face tournament host Coastal Carolina at 1:30 p.m. Junior right-hander Sean Carley (0-0), yet to allow an earned run in 13 innings, is slated to start for the Mountaineers.

The Chanticleers will counter with right-hander Tyler Herb (0-2), who owns a 5.06 ERA in two starts this season.

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