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Kearns sharp as West Virginia’s streak hits six

THIBODAUX, La. — Freshman Isaiah Kearns took a one-hitter into the sixth inning and Jackson Cramer cranked a two-run homer as West Virginia won its sixth consecutive game 8-1 at Nicholls State on Thursday night.

The Mountaineers improved to 6-2 by collecting 14 hits, ample support for Kearns (2-0) in his first start after two relief appearances. He allowed one hit and one walk while striking out five.

“He wasn’t nervous at all in his first start of his freshman year,” West Virginia coach Randy Mazey said. “He went out there and threw all three of his pitches for strikes, kept them off-balance and had good velocity. His changeup was really good and he mixed in his slider when he needed. He really had control of the whole game the whole night.”

Kade Strowd allowed Nicholls State’s only run in the sixth on a double by Kyle Knauth, who was 3-for-4. No other Colonels batter recorded a hit. Ryan McDonald and Alex Manoah pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief for WVU.

Daniel Goff (1-1) allowed five runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings as the Colonels fell to 4-5.

“Nearly everyone in the lineup had a hit or two, and a lot of extra-base hits,” Mazey said. “Anytime you can execute your hitting approach, that makes the coaching staff happy, and that’s what we did. We smashed a lot of balls in the middle of the field and got multiple bases every time we swung the bat. That’s how you win games.”

After Jimmy Galusky’s lead-off triple led to a WVU run in the third, the Mountaineers added four more in the fourth.  The inning began with back-to-back triples by designated hitter Marques Inman and Chase Illig leading to an RBI double by TJ Lake. Darius Hill’s single off the pitcher made it 5-0.

Cramer’s two-run home run in the sixth was the 20th of his career.

West Virginia’s stay in Louisiana continues with a three-game weekend series at Tulane.

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