West Virginia breaks out the bats in home-opening win over Canisius

GRANVILLE, W.Va. — West Virginia dodged the rain and opened its home schedule with a bang, scoring 15 runs on 17 hits in a 15-8 win over Canisius at Monongalia County Ballpark.

Seven Mountaineers registered an RBI in the squad’s home-opening triumph, while five recorded multiple hits. WVU scored runs in five innings, including six in the bottom of the sixth.

Freshman catcher/infielder Matt McCormick led the way, going 4-of-6 with a towering home run and three RBIs, while redshirt senior outfielder Braden Zarbnisky finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored, two stolen bases and two RBIs.

“Zarb is just a great college player – both sides of the baseball,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said. “He’s super valuable, and he never gets rattled. He’s been around for five years now and knows the ropes pretty well. And having Matt McCormick start to swing the bat well is really going to help us down the stretch.”

Additionally, sophomore infielder/outfielder Austin Davis tallied three hits, including a triple, for WVU (3-1), while senior infielder Kevin Brophy and junior infielder Tyler Doanes each had two.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Tim Wynia earned the win in his WVU debut. The Plano, Texas, native came out of the bullpen to collect two strikeouts in the top of the fifth.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Skylar Gonzalez was also effective out of the bullpen, allowing no runs or hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. He also struck out five in his collegiate debut.

Tuesday marked the earliest home opener in program history. It also was just the team’s second February home game ever.

Six of WVU’s seven pitchers were newcomers, and five of them – Gonzalez, freshman right-hander Carter Lyles, Wynia, freshman right-hander Jacob Watters and Short – all made their collegiate debuts on Tuesday.

Next up, West Virginia travels to Myrtle Beach, S.C., for the Brittain Resorts Invitational, from Feb. 21-24.

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