GRANVILLE, W.Va. — West Virginia’s baseball team picked up an important 9-1 victory against Pitt on Tuesday in the final non-conference game scheduled this season at Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark.
The Mountaineers benefited from the best showing of pitcher Aidan Major’s career in the win over the Panthers, which allows West Virginia to claim two of three Backyard Brawl matchups this season. Although Major entered having thrown 14 1/3 innings all season, he tossed six scoreless and hitless frames against the Panthers.
Major had eight strikeouts, issued a pair of base-on-balls and needed only 84 pitches to record 18 outs.
Three of the Mountaineers’ first four batters reached, allowing WVU (29-18) to push three runs across in the home half of the first inning. McGwire Holbrook’s single enabled Austin Davis and J.J. Wetherholt to score and Kevin Dowdell’s double brought Braden Barry home later in the inning.
Although Holbrook was thrown out at the plate off Dayne Leonard’s double to end the third, the Mountaineers added to their advantage and doubled it in the fourth on one swing — a three-run home run from Victor Scott that made it 6-0.
The Panthers’ only baserunner through five innings came off a Mountaineer error, though Major issued both of his walks in the sixth. But the right-handed freshman picked off CJ Funk at second base for the final out of the sixth and it marked the end of his strong outing.
Ron Washington’s solo home run in the seventh off Zach Ottinger provided the Panthers (26-20) with their only run, but Pitt’s deficit grew to eight in the bottom of that inning when Braden Barry belted a three run bomb.
Michael Kilker and Carlson Reed pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively, for the Mountaineers.
The Panthers finished with only two hits, both of which came from Washington. Panthers’ starting pitcher Jonathan Bautista took the loss after allowing three runs on five hits in two innings.
West Virginia returns to action Friday for the first of a three-game series at Oklahoma.