From WVU Sports Information
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — West Virginia took down Jacksonville University, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon at John Sessions Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida, earning the season-opening series win over the Dolphins.
Junior infielder Tyler Doanes drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the sixth inning, before the Mountaineer bullpen closed the door in the one-run victory. Freshman left-handed pitcher Jake Carr notched the win in his collegiate debut, while redshirt senior outfielder/right-handed pitcher Braden Zarbnisky tallied his second save of the weekend.
“It’s hard to win college baseball games on the road,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “We came down here and won two out of three against a team that’s going to win a lot of games this year. Those guys can really pitch.”
Carr, one of seven players to make their WVU debuts in the series, tossed 5 innings, allowing just one run on three hits. He struck out one and walked one on 61 pitches.
The Mountaineer bullpen also proved to be effective, as redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Dillon Meadows, sophomore right-handed pitcher Zach Ottinger and Zarbnisky combined to pitch four scoreless, allowing no hits and striking out a pair.
WVU (2-1) finished with two runs on seven hits, while the Dolphins (1-2) recorded one run on three hits.
“We really, really pitched well,” Mazey said. “We came down here and gave up five runs in three games, and Jake Carr went out there today – in his first college outing – and threw a ton of strikes. He didn’t get a bunch of strikeouts, but he didn’t let the moment get to him, he didn’t get rattled and he wanted the baseball. It was really encouraging from what he did.”
Jacksonville took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second with a two-out, RBI single to center. In the third, Carr was able to strand a pair of Dolphins on base before the Mountaineer offense tied the game in the fourth.
After Doanes and freshman catcher/infielder Matt McCormick each singled to start the top of the fourth, Doanes scored when junior catcher Paul McIntosh grounded into a double play.
The game remained even at 1 until the sixth, when Doanes’ RBI gave West Virginia the lead. The frame began when sophomore infielder Tevin Tucker singled and stole second base, before Zarbnisky tallied an infield single, allowing the speedy shortstop to advance to third.
Then, Doanes slapped a ball through the left side to put WVU on top.
Meadows pitched two scoreless, before Ottinger came in to retire the Dolphins in order in the eighth on just 10 pitches. Zarbnisky needed only eight pitches to finish off WVU’s rubber-match victory.
Along with earning the save, Zarbnisky went 2-for-4 at the plate, registering his third straight multi-hit game to begin the season. Doanes also had two hits in the win.
Next up, the Mountaineers return to Morgantown for their 2020 home opener on Tuesday against Canisius. First pitch at Monongalia County Ballpark is set for 2 p.m. ET. The game marks the earliest home opener in program history.