MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Redshirt junior Vince Ippoliti connected on a two-run homer in the tenth inning to give West Virginia a season-opening 5-3 win at Georgia State Friday afternoon. It was the Mountaineers’ first game in 345 days.
“We didn’t play great. We didn’t even catch the pop-ups. Because when you practice inside, there are no pop-ups. It keeps hitting the roof. That’s the play we are not good at yet but we will get there,” said WVU head coach Randy Mazey. The Mountaineers won despite committing three errors.
The No. 14 Mountaineers fell behind 1-0 in the first inning but Matt McCormick drew WVU even with a solo home run in the second inning. GSU retook the lead in the third until a Paul McIntosh double scored McCormick in the fourth, tying the game at 2-2.
Tyler Doanes had three of West Virginia’s nine hits.
Cabell Midland graduate Madison Jeffrey earned the win in relief. He retired five of the six batters he faced while striking out three.
“It is just never easy. They got the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on second base with one out and a base hit ends the game. We grinded it out and got a big hit in the top of the tenth.”
Starting pitcher Jackson Wolf pitched into the sixth inning, allowing two runs (one earned), one hit and striking out seven.
“It was out of character a little bit in his first inning,” Mazey said. “He settled in and pitched pretty well after the first inning.”
The teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader Saturday in Atlanta with games at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Southpaws Adam Tulloch and St. Albans grad Jake Carr will take the hill.
“We are throwing some left-handers at them this year. Three or four years ago, we went through the whole season and never threw a pitch from a left-hander the whole season. Now we are going to start lefties in our first three games. Just when you think you know what the Mountaineers are all about, we’ll throw some ‘Press Virginia’ on you.”