WVU routs Terps in 1st NCAA game since 1996

Photo courtesy of WVUsports.com West Virginia’s Kyle Davis watches a home run ball during a college baseball against Maryland Friday in Winston-Salem, N.C. West Virginia won, 9-1.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The No. 2-seed West Virginia University baseball team hit six home runs to open the 2017 NCAA Baseball Tournament with a 9-1 victory over third-seeded Maryland on Friday afternoon in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Making their 12th NCAA Regional appearance in program history and first since 1996, the Mountaineers (35-24) scored three runs in the second inning, on two home runs, and benefited from 5.2 shutout innings in relief from junior right-hander BJ Myers.

Several of WVU’s six home runs, the most in an NCAA Tournament game in program history, were no-doubters, sailing upwards of 400 feet. Junior left fielder Kyle Davis and sophomore shortstop Jimmy Galusky both hit a career-best two home runs, the most by a single player in an NCAA game in team history. Sophomores Cole Austin and Ivan Gonzalez also homered.

“It seems like every time we play we’re going to set or break records for ourselves,” WVU coach Randy Mazey said.

“It’s pretty cool. Every game we move closer toward our goal. We didn’t come down here to win (one game), we want to win the thing. I think we showed today that we’re not just happy to be down here, we want to keep our season alive and that’s been our mission the whole season. We’re going to feel good about this win for the next hour or so, and then see who we’re going to play tomorrow and see how we’re going to attack them.”

Davis led WVU with three hits, while he joined Austin with a team-best three RBIs. Galusky added two RBIs and was one of three Mountaineers with two runs scored.

With a 4-1 lead, Myers relieved freshman right-handed starter Alek Manoah. Myers got out of the inning, stranding the bases loaded. He allowed three hits in the next five innings to keep Maryland off the scoreboard and allow the WVU offense to grow the lead.

In 5 2-3 innings, Myers allowed no runs on four hits with a strikeout and a walk.

West Virginia got the scoring underway in the second inning to take a 3-0 lead. Davis’ first-pitch, two run home run to left-center sailed an estimated 414 feet, and was followed by Galusky’s two-out solo home run to left.

The Terrapins responded with a run in the third on a one-out walk and an RBI single to cut the West Virginia lead to 3-1.

However, Gonzalez homered down the left-field line in the third to answer Maryland, and Davis led off the fourth with his second home run of the day to extend WVU’s lead to 5-1.

The Mountaineers added two more runs in the fifth on Austin’s two-run, two-out home run that made it 7-1.

After Myers pitched 1-2-3 sixth and seventh innings, a sacrifice fly plated West Virginia’s eighth run in the seventh.

Galusky’s second home run, a solo shot in the eighth with one out to left-center, capped the day offensively for the Mountaineers.

Myers held Maryland off the scoreboard in the ninth to secure the victory, his fifth of the season.

West Virginia continues regional action at 7 p.m. today against the winner of Wake Forest-UMBC.

The regional continues on Sunday with games at noon and 5 p.m. If necessary, a final game will be played at 7 p.m. Monday to crown a regional champion.